In these difficult economic times, school districts are looking for ways to stretch their dollars and often eliminate or decrease funding for programs they consider “extras.” Although recent studies prove that student achievement is higher in schools with quality library media programs, decision makers may not know how libraries have changed since they were students. Those librarians most likely to be able to maintain or increase funding will be leaders who: serve on district committees, attend faculty meetings, meet with colleagues, and serve as advocates. Pro-active library leaders improve their libraries, their schools, their communities and their profession.
Southwest Library Services has compiled this collection of ready-to-use advocacy tools for school media specialists.
- Tell a library story
- Enhance awareness, appreciation, support
- Create relationships, partnerships, coalitions
- Deliver the right message to decision makers
- Create conditions that allow others to act on their behalf
Learning to be an Advocate
Usable PowerPoint Presentations
- Iowa Educational Media Association Pre Service Shows
This is a set of two prepared PowerPoint presentations, one to use with administrators and one to use with teachers. The programs deal with such topics as Library Media, How Can We Help YOU?, Providing Resources, Working With Students, Planning and Working With Teachers, Benefits of Teacher/Media Specialist Collaboration, and Recent Research. There also are prepared handouts to go with the programs.
- Raising Reading Scores Starts in the Library Media Center (ppt) From The Oregon Study: Good Schools have Good School Libraries. A 31 slide PowerPoint program presenting research and argument. Brochures and other materials are available at http://www.oema.net/Oregon_Study/OR_Study.htm
- Measuring Up: The Research on Student Learning and School Libraries
This PowerPoint presentation, created by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association as part of a professional development workshop, can be downloaded and modified. PSLA put these on its web page in hopes that other library professionals would use them. While some of their other PowerPoint presentations are geared for library media specialists, “Measuring Up” is useable with others.
- British Columbia Teacher-Librarian Association – Advocacy
This page contains PowerPoint presentations for use with boards of trustees, model letters to parents, and links to useful articles. One of the PowerPoint programs from the Coquitlam Teacher-Librarian Association would be easy to adapt to your own district or school.
Facts & Stats
- Colorado Library Research Service Fast Facts:
- J. K. Valenza, School Librarians: A Field Guide to an Evolving Species.
A four-page article from the April 2002 issue of Classroom Connect, examining what a good school librarian is, does, and contributes. Valenza is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer as well as a school librarian in Pennsylvania.
- What Parents Should Know - http://www.ala.org/aasl/advocacy/parents.html
- Say the Right Thing: Winning Strategies for Talking to the Press(School Library Journal, Sept. 1, 1998)
- 10 Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library (article in American Libraries, April 2001)
- Dr. Gary Hartzel, Capitalizing on the School Library’s Potential to Positively Affect Student Achievement (presented at the White House June 4, 2002) - Dr. Gary Hartzell's White House conference presentation. Includes a bibliography of 50 years' worth of studies showing school library impact, materials on the role of the principal in quality library media programs, and persuasion materials (links to PowerPoint presentations and other items).
- Dr. Gary Hartzell, Why Should Principals Support School Libraries? (ERIC Digest Nov. 2002)
- Dr. Gary Hartzell, The Invisible School Librarian: Why Other Educators are Blind to Your Value (School Library Journal, Nov. 1, 1997) (part 1)
- White House Conference on School Libraries, June 4, 2002
Building Skills for Tomorrow: Minnesota School Library Media Programs Make a Difference
The Minnesota professional organization (MEMO) has developed a video tape and handout to show to parents and community members about the power of media programs. It is focused, of course, on Minnesota, but it offers a lot of ideas.