In her inaugural column for American Libraries, titled “Advocate. Today.,” American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young challenged librarians of all types, and friends of libraries, to commit to spending just an hour a week advocating for libraries. To take the mystery out of just what “advocacy” means, how to do it and how to have fun along the way, ALA’s Offices of Intellectual Freedom (OIF), Library Advocacy (OLA), Public Information and the Washington Office will partner with all ALA divisions to present “An Hour a Week: Library Advocacy is Easy!!!” during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. The program is being cosponsored and will be co-promoted by all of ALA’s twelve divisions.
The session, which will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 10:30–11:30 a.m., will be led by the ever-popular “Advocacy Guru,” Stephanie Vance, who will walk “newbies” and “old pros” alike through just what advocacy means today–from engaging with the local PTAs and library boards to lobbying the White House. With the help of panelists from OIF and OLA, Vance will share easy advocacy strategies and lead a lightening tour of the many terrific ALA advocacy resources available to give “ALAdvocates” everything they need to answer Courtney’s call.
For fully half the program, Vance also will “dive” into the audience to “get the story” of what works in the real world from real librarians and library supporters from all parts of the profession. These everyday advocates will share their own hands-on experiences at bringing libraries’ messages to allies, policy-makers and elected officials at every level and explain why every librarian’s (and library lover’s) involvement in advocacy is so critical to the future of libraries of every kind everywhere.
Additional speakers include Marci Merola, director of the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and Barbara Jones, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.