Thursday, February 12, 2009

Advocating for Libraries with the Obama Administration

At the American Library Association's Mid-Winter Planning Meeting, Stephanie Vance of listed three points to remember when advocating for libraries with members of the Obama administration:

1. The economy. The economy. The economy.
2. The idea of Loving Libraries and library values.
3. Citizen advocacy. Citizen communications with elected officials.

I agree with the above three, adding that it would be good to keep up a campaign that points to libraries as solutions. Here are a few examples of issues and library solutions:

1- No home Internet access? Want to contact the President, Governor, or your Representatives? Your library has Internet workstations and probably wireless access too.

2- Money's tight? No or few books at home? Want to read to your baby? Your library has books for every age and interest. Borrow, browse, or read at your library. XYZ Public Library’s Project READ links volunteers with new readers.

3- Looking for a job or starting a new business? Your library has online and web-based resources and a quiet place to research and do business. ABC Public Library’s Business collection is top-notch!

4- Want to do more for the planet? Libraries are “green”. READ Green. Borrow a Library Book!

5- Worried about student cybersafety? Online ethics? Cyberbulling? Teacher Librarians provide the cybersafety instruction mandated in California AB 307. Teacher Librarians teach students how to do research so they will be better learners through school, college, careers, and life. Advocate for strong school libraries! Become a “Best Seller” for libraries.

6- School budget reduced, training budget eliminated? California School Library Association 2.0 Team and the California Technology Assistance Project have joined forces to offer a free, online course on web 2.0 tools, “Classroom Learning 2.0”.

The list could go on and on. Libraries provide tons of services. Position services as solutions to specific issues of the day. Don't keep them a secret.

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