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KLA/KASL Fall Conference 2014: Building Advocacy for your School Library Program

As school librarians we wear many hats: book guru, manager, technology leader, instructional partner, research guide, and our very own public relations firm.  

In advocating for our school library programs, we must identify our stakeholder priorities, develop a mission statement that aligns with our district and school mission, develop programming that will meet the needs of our stakeholders and collect data that doesn't just represent the number of books we check out each month, but really connects to the mission of our district and demonstrates how we support student growth.

In this post you will find some resources that James Allen and I shared at the KLA/KASL Fall Conference to help develop that long term, ongoing plan to really advocate for your school library program.  The prezi below provides an overview of the topic with research and information from the AASL.  The ThingLinked Piktochart includes some basics of advocacy and additional resources.  Finally, you will find some examples that we have used for our own libraries to give you ideas for how you can use some of the tools we mention.

School Library Advocacy

For direct access to the prezi, click [here]. 


How to Advocate for your School Library

For direct access to the ThingLink, click [here].

Examples of Advocacy Tools at Work


I am obviously a Blogger girl.  I like the ease of composing a blog post that includes multimedia and then sharing it easily with my G+ circles or communities.  Wordpress is another popular site that is extremely professional, Check out the OCHS Wordpress blog by clicking [here]. James Allen and Christi Unker do a great job of keeping their stakeholders up to date on what is happening in the library through their blog.  There are many really good examples here of programming and students coming in and using the library.  You can really tell that the OCHS library is an active place, and a safe haven for students to relax or work.


James Allen introduced me to Canva. I like using Canva to create graphics that I can use on blog posts or for invites to different professional development sessions I might be offering for teachers in my building.  Most recently, I have used it to create a library logo for social media use and a banner for our Facebook page promoting our theme for the year.

I like the templates they offer, as well as the simplicity of the designs that you can create using your own photos.



Flipboard is a way to curate articles about topics you care about.  It could be an excellent resource to share information with your stakeholders.  Check out Oldham County High School Library's FlipBoard "In the Fishbowl".


I like to use Piktochart for a variety of purposes, including representing data for library reports. The templates they have available are easy to manipulate, and adding data to create charts is a breeze.

The ThingLink above is an example of a usage of Piktochart.  Click [here] to see an example of how I've used it for a library report.


I love using Powtoon to make bring some excitement to presentations or to topics that I need to teach.  I have used it for many things over the past few years.  Check out the PowToon below to see how I introduced our library theme this school year.

Check out how how Oldham Co. High School librarians James Allen and Christi Unker used Powtoon to share their library report by clicking [here].


I often use Microsoft Publisher to create professional looking email blasts for newsletters to parents or my faculty.  I really like the program because it works seamlessly to embed in Outlook for use with my contact list.  The option to embed the content is perfect because then parents and teachers don't have to click on anything to reveal content or view a link.  Check out an example of a newsletter [here].


In the last year I have been using Smore for a variety of purposes including promotion of book fairs, content for professional development, and most recently for sending out my "semi regular" email to teachers, Tuesday Teacher Tips.  In those emails I try to share information about materials we have in the library or things that might be important for them to know about.  I really like Smore because it tracks the number of page views, which lets me know if I'm reaching my audience, and could be used in the collection of data.  [Here's] an example of my most recent Smore to faculty.  I did purchase the educator subscription, and think because the site is so easy to use and because it is helping me track data that it will be well worth the investment.

As you work to develop an advocacy program that works for you, choose the tools that you are most comfortable with and use them to the best of your ability.  It is very helpful to consider communicating to your stakeholders in many different ways through social media, email, or just good old fashioned grocery story speeches.  

In considering library advocacy, what is your favorite piece of advice or tool to use? 

A Few Additional Resources

"3.4.c Crafting Your Message." American Library Association. ALA, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.
"School Library Program Health and Wellness Toolkit." American Library Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.



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