What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is building support for something (an organization, an ideal, a cause) gradually, over time. It is a long-term, step-by-step process. It is the broad umbrella term under which public relations, marketing, lobbying, and advertising campaign, all fit.
An advocate is a person who can be counted on in all venues and circumstances to support a particular cause. At every opportunity, such a person will gather their courage, and speak-out or act for the good of the cause in which they believe.
Why do Media Specialists need to advocate?
The role of a school library media specialist is not well understood by many education decision makers. There is a mistaken belief by many people that the Internet is the answer to everything. Funds are being channeled into classroom technology and away from the media center. Media Center staff positions are being cut. The very existence of school library media specialists may be at stake.
The publication of national standards in Information Power, ALA, 1998, and state standards in Quality Library Media Programs for Ohio Schools, OELMA, 1999, gave media specialists an opportunity to reposition themselves. The Advocacy Project initiated by AASL, and in which OELMA is participating, gives the building level media specialist the support and materials needed to be an effective advocate for their media center program.
OELMA is prepared to assist you in becoming a great advocate. Use our links, contact the office, or the Advocacy Committee members: