Visibility Is A Synonym For Advocacy

Margaux DelGuidice works as a school librarian, adjunct professor and children’s services librarian and is co-author of the book, Make A Big Impact @ Your School Board Meeting. Sometimes she sleeps and goes to the gym, but she would much rather be writing! Follow her on Twitter @metadatachick and email her: metadatachick@gmail.com

Rose Luna is a school librarian at Freeport High School in Freeport, New York, and a bilingual reference librarian at the Freeport Memorial Library in Freeport, New York. She holds an MLS degree from C.W. Post, Long Island University, and a master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Touro College, Manhattan Campus and is co-author of the book, Make A Big Impact @ Your School Board Meeting. Follow her on Twitter @RoseMLuna.

 

One time it happened in my kitchen over a basket of muffins I baked to share with faculty and students in celebration of National Library Month. Another time it was the shared link to an easily created Animoto showcasing the events happening at my library. Last week it was a video directed and crafted by my students that showed how much they love to use the school library. Today it was the use of an infographic to compile and share my end of the year patron use and circulation statistics.

Visibility is the common thread that weaves together these unique situations. Throughout the course of the school year I use all different kinds of traditional and even unconventional tactics to garner positive support and recognition for my library. This proactive strategy helps to keep the programs happening at my library visible within my school and community.

One of the most powerful advocacy weapons that librarians possess in their arsenal of visibility is one that is often overlooked; that is the tool creating a presence at school board meetings. A district-wide librarian presentation at a school board meeting provides the perfect vehicle for delivering an important message about the link between properly funded library programs, staffed by certified school librarians, and student achievement.

You understand that crucial link, but who else knows and understands those facts? Are your colleagues, administrators, community members and school board members aware of the importance of your library program? If your key stakeholders are unaware of all the good things happening in your library, then it is time to reach outside of the physical library space and begin to make your position and your program visible.

As you read this you may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed, you are probably thinking that you simply do not have enough time to devote to marketing your library within your community. As a fellow librarian working in a school and public library I too feel overwhelmed and pressed for time on a daily basis. Working with my school and public librarian colleague, Rose Luna, we saw the need for a tool that helps librarians conduct aggressive marketing campaigns for their libraries, yet spares them the headache of having to “re-invent the wheel.” Our new book, Make A Big Impact @ Your School Board Meeting contains practical tips and tools for all librarians, including numerous changeable forms and a presentation that can be custom tailored to meet the needs of your library program. Do not wait any longer! Use the tools! Now is the time to get active and make an impact!

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