Sonoma County Office of Education

Library Media Services

Library Advocacy

Advocacy for school libraries has many aspects, from exploring current research findings to connecting with professional library organizations, from promoting your own library to accessing advocacy tools and ideas from existing organizations.

Research Supporting School Libraries

American Association for School Libraries
American Association for School Libraries has created a series of resources addressing subjects most often requested for school libraries, identifying organizations, articles, and documents of interest. Topics include student achievement, starting a school library, literacy, facilities, collection development, information literacy, and many more. Their toolkits make it easy to share information and research about the power of strong school library programs.

School Library Media Programs and Academic Achievement:
Bibliography and Availability List

David Loertscher has compiled this comprehensive list of research studies that investigate the impact of school libraries on academic achievement. There are now more than ten state studies that substantiate the findings of the original Colorado study, and other studies are pending. Yes, high quality school library programs do improve student learning and achievement. Listings for most of the studies include online links to the research.

Advocacy Resources

Advocacy for School Library Media Teachers
This site pulls together advocacy efforts and suggestions from Dr. David Loertscher and many California school librarians. Library Media Teachers will find advocacy suggestions, quotations, newsletters, and links to other advocacy resources. Sample print documents include newsletters, posters, bookmarks, letters to the editor, and brochures. The site encourages day-to-day advocacy that highlights the role and effects of library programs, but also has many resources that can be used to save library staffing or hours from budget cuts and closures.

Powering Achievement: School Library Media Programs Make a Difference
Authors Keith Lance and David V. Loertscher have created PowerPoint slides that complement key issues from their book on school libraries and student achievement. An overview presentation, entitled School Library Media Programs and Academic Achievement, is available as a one-minute, five-minute, or fifteen-minute presentation. Slide shows vary in length and some have only one or two slides. Some presentations encourage an audience of library media staff in advocacy efforts, while others offer longer presentations appropriate for teachers, school boards, parent groups, etc. Presentations include building literacy, clerks make a difference, collaboration and achievement, information literacy and academic achievement, making the investment, and five key things to do every day.

Professional Organizations

American Library Association (ALA)
The American Library Association (ALA) provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services. This national organization supports libraries of all kinds, creates library policy and guidelines, supports legislative lobbying efforts, and encourages information literacy for all people. The American Association for School Libraries is a division of ALA. ALA’s Washington Office keeps visitors up-to-date on legislation and other Washington happenings related to copyright, digital divide, funding, filtering, and other library issues.

California School Library Association (CSLA)
CSLA is our state's professional organization for professionals and paraprofessionals working in school libraries. The Association encourages professional growth, provides avenues for sharing common concerns, represents the interests of school libraries to the Legislature, and helps members serve the educational needs of the multi-culturally diverse students in our schools. Visit the website for resources on advocacy and public relations, CSLA’s annual conference and regional workshops, Digital High School, library credentialing and job postings, and more. Also, at the bottom of the CSLA homepage you can sign up for CALIBK12, CSLA’s official Internet discussion group.

LM_NET on the Web
LM_NET is a discussion group open to school library/media specialists and others involved in the school library/media field. Conversation on LM_NET focuses on topics of interest to the school library community and the latest information about school library services, operations, and activities. Visitors to this site can learn more about the resources available, join the listserv, view archives, and more.