AASL has new Advocacy Toolkit - Check it out!

By Dorcas Hand

Just announced this week by Past President Terri Grief, the new AASL Toolkit for Promoting School Libraries offers a wealth of new tools. The videos are especially strong – short, pithy and immediately useful.

First, what are leadership dispositions (knowledge, persistence, commitment, and more), and how can they help me in my library day-to-day? That’s just one of three videos in this section. Videos on Communication and Visions of the Future are equally strong.

Next, as outlined in the Advocacy module of the toolkit, AASL’s Five Step Planning Model begins with a goal. Once the goal is identified the five steps are:
1.     Determine your objectives.
2.     Determine your target groups.
3.     Determine your strategies.
4.     Determine your communication tools.
5.     Evaluate.
While these steps don’t seem like rocket science, they do simplify the process of planning your Advocacy program – and it is essential to HAVE an Advocacy Plan mapped out to support everything you do now and everything you want to build. There’s even a list of 10 Tough Questions that someone might ask you – and the answers, like ready-written elevator speeches!       

The Communication module offers tips for Marketing your program INSIDE your school and OUTSIDE to the community. Very helpful. And the AASL Learning for Life (L4L) program is tied in for maximum benefit on your campus.

So, the content modules are Leadership, Advocacy and Communication. And then there is the most useful, hit-the-ground-running content of all: Tools and Resources. Here you’ll find links to many AASL Advocacy resources, including sample reports and graphics as well as a brilliant set of Talking Points for 0-age 5, K-6th grade and 6th-12th grades.

This new Toolkit offers a wealth of tools for school librarians interested in beefing up their Advocacy Programs. Texas school librarians should take full advantage of everything now at your fingertips.

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