Advocacy Resources

Being an Effective Advocate Basic Tips and Points

Talking

Do:

  • Share how library media centers and library media specialists support and enhance:
    • classroom instruction
    • local curriculum
    • state content standards
  • Impart the role school libraries play in fostering literacy:
    • promoting reading
    • providing books
    • helping teachers find and select books for students
  • Include stories about how library media center resources and library media specialists impact and support:
    • student learning and achievement
    • teacher instruction and continuing education
    • administrators
    • and/or the community
  • Emphasize student learning by telling:
    • about teacher and library media specialists collaborations and about the meaningful integration of information skills into the curriculum
    • what information literacy is and involves
      • problem-solving and critical thinking skills
      • organizational skills
      • reading for content skills
      • technology skills
      • group process skills
      • communication skills in a variety of symbol systems
      • evaluation skills
    • why information literacy is important to the future of students
    • how the library media specialist and center are instrumental in teaching information literacy skills to students and teachers.
  • Share stories about how library media specialists are technology leaders in schools
  • Include the role of library media specialists as professional development providers
  • Include quotations from students, teachers, administrators, and parents
  • Remember when talking about Ohio’s educational standards:
    • The Operating Standards are for schools
    • The Content Standards are for curriculum
  • If addressing the differences between public libraries and school libraries, speak to differences:
    • in the nature of their educational programs (type of emphasis)
    • expertise
    • experience
    • resources

Writing

Do:

  • Write a positive and professional letter
  • Thank the organization for past and future support
  • Write an original letter (avoid using a form letter)
  • Keep the letter short
  • Share pictures of students using the library media center
  • Include URLs for school Web resources generated by library media specialists
  • Include quotations from students, teachers, administrators, and parents
  • Use resume type stationary, if possible
  • Include your name, return address, and phone number
  • Again, say thank you

Avoid:

  • Sending a form letter
  • Whining
  • Using jargon
  • Starting the letter with statistics
  • Sending an e-mail

Presenting

Do:

  • Be positive
  • Limit the length of presentation
  • Begin presentation by giving your name
  • If providing handouts, make sure there are enough copies
  • Be clear – avoid using jargon
  • Be prepared to answer questions