Advocacy Toolkit for School Library Media Specialists

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
  • 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


Quicktime Video

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.

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