[kids-lib] School Library Advocacy Resources

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Thu Oct 2 13:08:44 PDT 2014

Posted on behalf of Jen Maurer:

Because I often get asked about advocacy resources, I wanted to share about a few new ones I came across.

American Libraries Digital Supplement, September/October 2014 => School Libraries Transform Learning

·        The entire issue is dedicated to identifying and advocating for the value of strong school library programs.

·        Here are a few article highlights:

o   In “I’m an Expert,”  Barbara Stripling gives a good overview of the areas of a strong school library program (printed page 4).

o   In “Reimagining Advocacy for School Libraries,” Barbara Stripling offers a “framework of action steps that can be useful for the whole spectrum of advocacy efforts” (printed page 8).

o   In “Creating Coalitions,” the authors give examples of how partnerships, including those with parents, have helped school libraries and their programs (printed page 20).

o   In “Building Advocacy Before a Crisis,” Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis offer tips on preparing ahead of time for end-of-year announcements about budget cuts (printed page 26).

·        http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?EID=6c7cb940-d8fb-43d8-8ad8-864bf0e83f38 (Read articles online, or use the toolbar to print or download them as PDFs .)

Pitching the Library: How to Explain What School Librarians Do

·        edWeb webinar on October 15th at 2pm Pacific

·        Description: When administrators are faced with challenging budget cuts, they often cut from library programs - often because they don’t understand how strong library programs serve the learning community. This webinar will equip participants with talking points to promote library programs, reframing our work with new language, and dispelling myths about librarianship.

·        There is no need to join the Emerging Tech for Your School Library to participate in the webinar, but free membership is the only way to view the archived version.

·        http://www.edweb.net/emergingtech

Josephine Community Libraries Video Series => My Library Works for Me

·        Created as part of an advocacy effort to get stable funding for libraries in Josephine County, Oregon

·        Each video is 30 to 50 seconds long = short and to the point

·        Could you have students, parents, or other volunteers help you capture key components of your strong school library program?

o   Perhaps start with areas that focus on school or district-wide goals. Feel good programs are great, but also emphasize instruction.

o   Once you have at least 4, maybe email one per week for a month to policymakers.

o   In the email, maybe include standards addressed, evidence of student success, an invitation to come see what the library is doing, etc.

·        Don’t have licensed librarians in your school or district? Perhaps you could video other library programs in action to point out what local students might be missing. (More difficult, I know.)

·        http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9q99mB_eXzcGYQSPRCHNTg/videos

How Parents Can Advocate for Quality School Library Programs, a new document from the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

·        Categories include organizing; developing your purpose mission, or message; communicating the message; and web resources

·        A few quotes from the document…

o   We need to make a conscious effort to avoid making business decisions personal. It is imperative that we do not back the unfortunate administrators into corners. We do not want to force administrators to rationalize and defend library cuts. We need to continue making connections between the district's educational goals and how the library plays an essential role in meeting those goals [from AASL Crisis Toolkit, quoted in document].

o   Messages have to be about students and student learning; they cannot be about the jobs of librarians. Schools are not in the business of employing librarians; they are about students and learning [from AASL Crisis Toolkit, quoted in document].

·        http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/2788/733247/HowParentscanbeAdvocates-Handout.pdf

“Standing Up for School Libraries: Trusted Resource Under Siege by Budget Cuts, Testing Restraints” in April/May 2014 edition of Our Children, the national PTA magazine

·        ALA President and former school librarian, Barbara Stripling, explains to parents what they should expect in a school library program

·        A few quotes from the article, besides what was said about developing a culture of literacy…

o   Today’s school librarians also teach critical new literacy skills to enable young people to evaluate and make sense of text presented in all formats, and to be producers and communicators of ideas, not just consumers of information.

o   School librarians nourish a culture of inquiry by teaching students the essential critical-thinking and information skills to be independent and lifelong learners.

o   School librarians help students and teachers use the latest technology tools effectively for personal and academic learning, communication, production, and collaboration.

·         http://www.ptaourchildren.org/ourchildren/april_may_2014#pg26

“Tech Project Changed How We View Our Librarians: School Librarians and Media Specialists are Vital Part of Team Leading Digital Transformation” posted in District Administration in mid-May 2014

·        One author is a district superintendent.

·        A few quotes from the article…

o   Think about the vast resources available on the internet: primary sources, e-books and applications accessible with a click or tap. It is an unbelievable toolbox that, unfortunately, many teachers and curriculum departments don’t know how to leverage.

o   Enter “Project Connect”—a panel of school leaders working to connect the library, classroom and administration through information technologies. It has changed the way Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska views its librarians.

·        http://www.districtadministration.com/article/tech-project-changed-how-we-view-our-librarians

Principals Know: School Librarians are the Heart of the School

·        This “5-minute film features administrators around the country describing the value of the teacher librarian in school culture.”

·        Two professors, one who teaches in the library program and the other who teaches pre-service principals, launched the project.

·        A few quotes from administrators featured in the video…

o   Our librarian is a member of our leadership team. She assists with the decision making that the team has to do.

o   I am not really sure what we would do without that resource . . . I’ve worked in other systems where that is one of the first things that gets cut and I would be holding on to the library teacher kicking and screaming if they told me we had to lose that out of the budget.

·         http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2014/04/05/principals-know-school-librarians-are-the-heart-of-the-school/

“Colorado Administrator Forges New Path for School Librarians” posted in Education Week on March 5, 2014

·        A few quotes from the article…

o   Principals had expressed a strong interest in incorporating more technology into the classroom, said Ms. Bowline, so "it seemed in our mind that the person most ready to take on that responsibility was the teacher-librarian." The newly deployed digital-literacy teachers work alongside regular classroom teachers to help students develop technology and research skills, while media clerks check out books to students and keep the library doors open.

o   Having Ms. Gibney [librarian] there to co-teach lessons has made Ms. Jankowski [classroom teacher] and her fellow teachers much more likely to try new technologies they otherwise would be intimidated by, Ms. Jankowski said.

·        http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/03/05/23ltlf-bowline.h33.html

Dr. Stephen Krashen speaking in defense of libraries at the Los Angeles Unified School District board meeting in February 2014

·        Among other things, he explains how strong school libraries help students overcome poverty factors that affect students’ reading abilities.

·        “Access to a library of 500 books or more balances the effect of poverty.” (around 2:20 mark in the video)

·        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAui0OGfHQY

[From Katie: The Oregon Association of School Libraries also put together some resources available on their website: http://www.olaweb.org/oasl-library-advocacy-resources and another group of concerned parents started a School Library Advocacy facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/802268366464689/]

If you know of any other articles or resources that fit this theme, please share with OASL members by posting to the listserv.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us>

OSLIS || www.oslis.org
Learn to research. Research to learn.

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