Latest report from Keith Curry Lance

I’m putting on my advocacy hat today.

Click here for an analysis of the latest data collected by Keith Curry Lance regarding library staffing and how it affects students’ reading scores.

Thanks to Alice Yucht for the link!

10 Rock Star Take-aways

Last night I “attended” a TL Virtual Cafe webinar about advocacy.  Jennifer LaGarde and Tiffany Whitehead  did an excellent job reminding us about how we can prove our worth, especially in these tough economic times.  The webinar will be archived in the next few days if you missed it, but meanwhile here are my take-aways:

1. Make everything about the kids.  Every policy, decision, purchase, and interaction has to be about kids.  Only then can you show how you impact student learning.  Don’t advocate for librarians or libraries–advocate for your students.

2. Keep an advocacy file.  Store in it thank you notes from staff or parents, successful lesson plans, samples of student work, etc.  These artifacts will tell the story for you of how you make a difference.

3. Show that you know about more than books.

4. Collect and share data.  Jennifer has an “Advocacy Wall.”  Post monthly stats–how many classes came to the library, how many books circulated, etc.  ANALYZE relevant data.  Can you connect the dots between test scores and library use in your school?

5. Share what’s happening in your library–through social media, PTO and department newsletters, local papers, local organizations.  Step outside of the library world and share with those who may have no idea about what today’s libraries are like.

6. Host family/community events in your library and share those in the local press.

7. Have a mission statement.  Post it everywhere;  make it part of written communications.

8. Elevate those people who are your supporters. (administrator, volunteers, etc.)

9. Make the time to advocate.  Don’t be shy about the good things you do–it’s not bragging if it’s true!

10. Bring solutions to the table when attending meetings.  Show how you can help with whatever is keeping your teachers or principal up at night.

TL Rock stars

Mark your calendar for next Monday’s Rock Star Advocacy webinar.  Brought to you by your peers at the Teacher Librarian Virtual Cafe.   November 7 from 8pm-9pm.

It sounds like there will be some great discussion and how-tos for collecting and sharing data to “prove your worth in tough times.” You must  be a member of the Ning, but it’s a simple registration.  Register soon and you’ll be given details about how to participate through Elluminate.


'the new camera!' photo (c) 2007, Kellan - license: have recommended AASL’s Advocacy Tip of the Day before, and in that spirit I am passing along this tip to you:

This year, keep a digital camera handy, right near the circulation desk so that you can document as much of the learning and activity that takes place in your library as possible.  Last June I found that when I was compiling my annual report  I had precious few photos to insert.

Click away all year long and you’ll have lots of raw material for your webpage, blog, Snapshot Day, monthly and annual reports, and presentations to stakeholders.

Branding for the Future

AASL's21stcenturylearnerposterphoto © 2011 Joyce Valenza | more info (via: Wylio)
This year the six librarians in my district have begun some very intentional advocacy steps.  We have been endeavoring to better articulate what it is we do, to evaluate our own programs, and to envision what we want for our future.  We have read the AASL “yellow” and “blue” books and discussed them together, several of us have the online planning guide, one of us attended a Learning 4 Life “boot camp,” and we collected data and took photos forVermont’s Library Snapshot Day.

We were advised several months ago to develop a mission statement and after a number of meetings and lots of discussion and wordsmithing we have something we’re happy with..  From there we can each develop a building-based vision and generate goals toward achieving that vision.  We’ve talked about “branding” a lot, and we’ve decided that AASL’s  “Think, Create, Share, Grow” is easy to understand and makes a lot of sense.  It distills down from the Standards for the 21st Century Learner what it is our libraries should be about, and it gives us a template for a 4-part vision statement.

I am excited for us as a unified team and hopeful that we’ll continue drawing from the efforts of AASL andALAand our local librarians association and communicate our message to parents, administrators, and teachers—Libraries matter!

Please let me know what you are doing to advocate for your library, and how you are taking the standards and putting them into action.  (Our next big project!)

Put this in your Google Reader!

A short while ago a colleague recommended this AASL site for great ideas about advocacy.  Having subscribed for a while now, I have indeed made use of a number of these tips and have several others starred for future reference.  Check it out!