Advocacy Made Simple: Reaching Local Supporters and Decision Makers

By Dorcas Hand, Editor of TASLTalks blog

The TLA Legislative Committee has recently been sponsoring a series of free and openly available webinars called Doable Action series focused on advocacy. Two main threads ran across several library types (public, academic and school): Rallying Supporters and Empowering Friends and Reaching and Talking To Local Decision Makers. The series will wrap up on Dec. 7 with a final session for all librarians together, State Advocacy for Librarians to prepare us to talk to our legislators as the new legislative session begins in the spring- you can register now. Thanks to Jennifer LaBoon and Becky Sullivan, along with Gloria Meraz and Ted Wanner, for cooking this series up - it focuses on practical tips and resources to help us be ready every day to make things better for our library programs.

On September 29, Cindy Buchanan (Aldine ISD) and Nicole Cruz (Sharyland ISD) offered their array of ideas on how to get your local community behind your efforts. School Libraries Rallying Supporters and Empowering Friends is archived in the TXLA Continuing Education Corner for anyone to view later, and there is an accompanying quiz for anyone who needs CE credit. My favorite tip is that Persistence pays off - I translate that to mean that “No” is an opportunity to rework a request for greater success. You know that students don’t always get a new idea the first time it is presented in class - so the teacher reworks the presentation until the student does get it. Our stakeholders need the same care and attention.

On October 12, Susi Grissom and I offered School Libraries Reaching and Talking To Local Decision Makers, also archived in the CE Corner. In addition to the full recording, we offer you an extensive list of resources, organized by the slide they relate to. As we were building the slide show, we realized we wanted to bring you the direct voice of administrators so that you would know what they listen to best - so we did. TASL’s 2016 Administrator of the Year Chris Nester sat with his librarian, Debra Marshall in the library at Wilson Elementary in Coppell ISD to tell us how he learned how essential libraries are to his students and what to expect of a good librarian. And Superintendent Dr. Bill Chapman of Jarrell ISD with his District Librarian Vanessa Ascraft offer us a tutorial in how to talk to administrators so that you are more likely to get what you ask for. These videos are worth watching on their own, and showing to your colleagues - please take advantage of their availability. And if you see either admin or librarian, thank them for taking the time to make these 5 minute videos that are so helpful to us.

Links to the presentations are also available on the TASL Advocacy webpage. So now, in the comfort of your own home or office, take time to watch and learn. Improve your advocacy tools and then apply them for greater success. And Share with your library colleagues or with your staff.  That’s why they are archived and easy to find again and again.

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