MASLMD Advocacy Committee

Now is the time to shine.

Special Edition: Spring into Action

ALA Update

The federal budget season has arrived: President Biden just released his proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget! Stand with us and Tweet to your members of Congress to remind them why library funding is so critical by contacting members now.

While the full details of the President’s budget will be released over the next few days - including library funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services - we need to keep libraries top of mind for Congress.

This is just the beginning of the federal appropriations process – over the coming days and weeks, we will launch the full #FundLibraries campaign. But we need Congress to hear us NOW - take a moment to add your voice:

Thank you for all you do for libraries!

ALA Public Policy & Advocacy Team

Winter Edition (2022)

MASL Virtual Townhall on 1/17/23

MASL members and supporters are invited to the MASL Townhall on January 17, 2023. Preregistration is required. We will need at least 60 registrants in order to offer the town hall. Register by January 11, 2023. Use the button above to preregister.

Banned Book Survival Guide

Shared by Amanda Jones via Twitter, this is a great resource that shares the history of book bans, program ideas, and ways groups can use to galvanize.

The GNCRT Challenge Postcard

Created by ALA's Graphic Novel and Comics Round Table, the GNCRT has created a printable postcard.

ALA Resources: Challenges

How Do You P.A.C.E.?

PROadvocate, Amplify, Communicate, and Engage

Special Edition

Support the Right to Read Act

from ALA

October 12, 2022

As you may have seen, AASL & ALA celebrated last week the introduction of the Right to Read Act by Sen. Jack Reed and Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a bill to increase access to school libraries. Our next step for this bill is to have advocates sign a thank you to the sponsors.

We'd like your help in spreading the word! Below are some sample social media posts. The posts are formatted for Twitter, but you can just replace the usernames with their names if you post across platforms. We also have an image you can use. Please share widely!

Every student has the right to read in a fully resourced school library, staffed by a certified school librarian. @SenJackReed & @RepRaulGrijalva are fighting to make that right a reality. Join me & thank them for their work to strengthen school libraries:

Library champions @SenJackReed & @RepRaulGrijalva have introduced new legislation to expand access & funding for school libraries across the country. It's time to make our voices heard: join ALA & thank them for standing up for students & school libraries:

Decades of data show that students w/ access to fully resourced school libraries w/ certified school librarians see improved outcomes. @SenJackReed & @RepRaulGrijalva are listening to the data, & to school librarians. Learn more & send a thank you:

Access to a fully resourced school library, staffed by a certified school librarian, benefits students well beyond their early school years. Join us and thank @SenJackReed & @RepRaulGrijalva for their legislation ensuring access to school libraries:

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2022 Fall Edition

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1. Identify stakeholders.

Find a story from your library that focuses on benefiting a key community issue through library use rather than library support.

  • Good stories show the library creating heroes in the community.

  • Characteristics of a good story: concise, consistent, connected, unified, and adaptable.

2. Consider the programs you offer.

Share how we are supporting and making our libraries open to everyone.

3. Create an elevator speech.

Share the elevator speech in one or more of the following ways:
  • Your school principal

  • Your PTA/PTSA

  • Your School Board

  • Your representative in Congress

ALA Engage

ALA offers various resources that members can be used for advocacy. Engage is one resource that deserves a spotlight. Check it out!
ALA Engage

ALA offers various resources that members can be used for advocacy. Engage is one resource that deserves a spotlight. Check it out!

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Links are below.

Many times we attend school board meetings and contact school board members when there is an issue. Why not be proactive and PROadvocate for our school libraries when there isn't an issue? By doing this, the paradigm may shift a bit and create a positive memory for the stakeholders to remember when (if) an issue occurs and there is a need for action.

Use the linked template to write a letter that can be shared. Whether you share with your school board in person or send a letter (or email) to highlight the work being done, any PROadvocacy tool is a good PROadvocacy tool.

Other resources and ideas were provided in October's Presidential Message in the MASL newsletter.

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End of Year Edition (2022)

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A Special Shout Out

I Love My School Library Committee members:

  • Mary Jo Richmond
  • Lindsey Weaver
  • Libby Gorman

Let's Welcome Our New Committee Members!

  • Christine Hurley
  • Stacey Nunn
  • Heather Jansen

From ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Team

Congratulations! Together, we have closed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Dear Appropriator letters with record bipartisan support for library funding in Congress. Every single call, email, and meeting with members of Congress has added up to record support for libraries, library workers, and those we serve.

With your help, we have made it clear to Congress: library funding is indespensible. In the House of Representatives, 100 members signed in support of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and 85 signed in support of the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program (IAL), while 47 Senators signed in support of LSTA and an all-time high of 36 Senators signed in support of IAL.

We've gotten off to an amazing start, but the FY 2023 #FundLibraries campaign isn't finished yet. Follow the pathway to Congressional appropriations by following us on Twitter @LibraryPolicy. Our team will alert you when your voice matters most in the process - which is likely to involve some twists and turns!

The 2022 midterm elections provide a chance for elected leaders at every level of government to demonstrate their support for libraries - but advocates like you need to make the first move. Stay tuned for ALA resources to help you make the most of those opportunities. We love working with you and look forward to the adventures ahead!

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Spring 2022 Edition

Hearing Regarding Free Speech, Book Bans and Academic Censorship

Censorship and book bans are an effort to deny one of the basic freedoms supported by our Constitution. On April 7, 2022, @RepRaskin will have a hearing regarding the effort to censor and ban books in schools.

Watch the hearing live at 10:00 am (EST).

Take Action Now

The following information was provided by ALA. See the ALA website for more details.

On March 28, the President released his proposed budget spending requests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, which includes federal funding amounts for libraries. We need your help starting NOW until the final budget is signed in order to ensure that libraries are fully funded in the next fiscal year.

For FY2023, we are asking congressional appropriators to include funding of at least $206 million for LSTA and $50 million for IAL.

Will you contact your members of Congress and ask them to sign onto the Dear Appropriator letters?

Take Action Now!

We also encourage you to start the momentum on social media and urge your elected officials to support strong funding for libraries. On ALA's #FundLibraries Campaign page, we have included downloadable graphics for you to use with your posts to better increase their overall visibility. Here is a sample tweet that you can customize and share:

. @[MYREP/SENATORS] Libraries are dedicated to providing for our communities, from internet access to early literacy skills. I urge you to #FundLibraries in FY23 and sign on to support increases in federal support for libraries, because strong libraries make strong communities.

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Special Edition: Challenges and Censorship

As the number of cases related to challenges and attempts of censorship increases, know that there are numerous resources available to you. Here are two.

  1. MASL members have an Advocacy Committee that is committed to looking into issues related to censorship and challenges in the school library. Complete the Advocacy Now request form and we will follow our Reactive Timeline to gather information and determine the best steps to handle the situation.
  2. ALA members should also submit a Censorship and Challenge Report via the Office of Intellectual Freedom. A mighty office, the team helps librarians gather resources to assist in the fight against censorship. From confidential guidance to seminars for small or large groups, the OIC is a phenomenal group of people committed to helping librarians attain intellectual freedom for the patrons we serve in our libraries.

Please read the March issue of the MASL newsletter for more resources shared by MASL President, Lindsey Weaver.

MD School Library Success Stories

Let's end the year by looking at the successes the Maryland school librarians have enjoyed during the school year. Please share any information regarding your school library program.

Join the MASL Advocacy Committee

We are a small group. Unfortunately, advocacy will become more needed during the next few years. Consider joining our team to ensure we are able to respond to each and every advocacy request that comes our way.

Click here to log in and signup for the Advocacy Committee.

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Opration Proclamation begins in November 2021 and ends on January 31, 2022. All school librarians and supporters of school libraries are asked to take part in this initiative.

Advocacy Tip 3

During the last few months, the Advocacy Committee has shared various ways school librarians can shine a light on the work we do.

Last month, using the MASL newsletter, The Advocacy Committee (The A-Team) shared various ways school librarians can connect promote their school library. Our final suggestion for MASL members and supporters to consider is a call to embrace the symbol of a spotlight. What do I mean and why is this important?

What if we use the symbol of a spotlight to illuminate how we see ourselves and our profession? A school librarian can shine a light on a variety of things. From the work, they are doing within their school to the work that other librarians are doing around the world. What if we all began to illuminate the positives that many may not even know about when it comes to our role or the work of others?

In last month’s Advocacy Highlight, we suggested meeting with your school principal and sharing information via social media. For November, we have three more suggestions that you can try during the fall and winter months to draw positive attention to our profession:

  • Nominate yourself or a fellow librarian for MMASL.
  • Speak to your school board to thank your school system for funding school library programs and to advocate for continued funding.
  • Submit a request for the state of Maryland to recognize April as School Library Month.*

Even if you do one of the items suggested any above it is a step in the right direction for our profession. Remember, now is our time to shine.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about The Advocacy Committee, complete this form and an A-Team member will contact you. Remember, now is our time to shine!

*More information regarding Operation Proclamation is included in this newsletter.

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Fall Edition (2021)

Operation Proclamation

Would you like to have April recognized as School Library Month in the state of Maryland? Beginning in November and ending January 31, 2021, we ask all school librarians and their supporters to take a moment to submit a proclamation request.

Advocacy Tip: 2 (MASL October Newsletter)

Last month, The Advocacy Committee (The A-Team) shared various ways school librarians can connect with collaborative partners. This month let’s focus on promotion. Promotion is a difficult word for some. The common perception of promotion is that it is a selfish way to place a spotlight on oneself. In the school library world, promotion is a way to spotlight the school library program. Why is this important?

Many school librarians are in a department of one or two. We also must contend with the narrow view that some have of the role of the school librarian. That image of the shushing librarian who patrols quiet library spaces is a far cry from the actual work we do. We co-teach lessons on digital citizenship, provide online tools for research, gather resources for student inquiry, administer spaces for creativity, and much more. Why not promote that?

This October, take time to share some of the successes your school library program has achieved over the last 18 months. If you have seen an increase in e-book usage, promote it. If you have had more collaborative and planning sessions with teachers, share it. If you have used creative ways to provide resources to your school community, highlight it. By sharing your successes and promoting the work you and your team have accomplished in the school library, you are reshaping the perception some have of school libraries and are helping to promote the importance in your school and beyond.

During the month of October, consider sharing successes on any form of social media, as well. Use #MASLsuccess to highlight the wonderful work you are doing. You never know, who you will inspire and who you will impact with examples of your wonderful work.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about The Advocacy Committee, complete this form and an A-Team member will contact you. Remember, now is our time to shine!

Advocacy Tip 1 (MASL September Newsletter)

During the next few months, the Advocacy Committee will highlight various ways school librarians can spread the word regarding the work that we do. Whether it’s presenting information to faculty or taking part in a professional development opportunity, there are various ways school librarians can highlight the wonderful work being done inside and outside the school library walls.

This school year, consider these three easy tips:

  1. Connect.
  2. Promote.
  3. Create.

For the month of September, we will focus on connection.

Whether you are new to your school building or a veteran, relationships (like gardens) must be cultivated. During the next few months, connect and reconnect with those you serve. From chatting with students about the books and resources they would like to see in the school library to meet with partners in the public library, there are many ways to build and rebuild programs with your partners.

As you strive to meet the needs of your school community, consider sharing your experiences on any form of social media. Use #MASLsuccess and we will be sure to highlight the wonderful work of the members of MASL. Have a great school year!

Need advocacy help? Use this form to reach out to MASL.

Summer Edition (2021)

Shine a Spotlight on Your Successes

During the summer, consider the various ways you can shine a light on the successes you have had in and outside of the library. By putting a spotlight on the work you do as a school librarian, you are helping to illuminate the wonders and the work that we do.

It's mindboggling how many people do not know the role of a school librarian. They don't know about the work associated with collection development. They don't realize coteaching and co-planning that occurs to present information to our students. They don't understand the positive impact certified school librarians have on student achievement.

Considering the fact that there are many in the world who still envision libraries as silent spaces filled with dusty books, it is our time to shine a light on what we do. By sharing our successes and the work that we do, we can reshape the perception people have of school libraries and shift the perception people have of the school librarian.

During the summer, take a movement to think of how you can share with your school, community, and another stakeholder the various hats you wear to make your school library program a success.

Remember, when you shine, we all shine!

Stories + Surveys = Success

Use the following links to access great ways to help us spread the word about the great things school librarians are doing in Maryland:

Grab and Go

Here are some great ideas from school librarians. Grab an idea (or two or three) and try something new. Please share what you do by using one or more of the following hashtags:

  • #MightyMDLibrarians
  • #MASLMDChallenge
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Take Action!

Contact your Senators to ask them to support funding for libraries. You can also use the link above to determine whether they supported library funding for FY22.

Federal Resources

Use this link to learn about federal resources that are available.

MASL Advocacy Committee Spotlight

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Donna Mignardi

A valued member of the Advocacy Committee, Donna is an advocate for school librarians. Recently recognized as MASL's Co-Librarian of the Year (2020-2021). Donna joined the Advocacy Committee and added keen insights. From suggestions on ways to spread the word regarding advocacy webinars to adding resources to the MASL newsletter and social media sites, Donna has been an integral member of the team.

Spring Edition 2021

April is School Library Month

How can you be a PROadvocate and celebrate the work that we do? Take a moment to look at the images below and try one or more of the suggestions.
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Join Us and Contact Your Representative

Click the link below to contact your representative and support the effort to #BuildLibraries.

Celebrate Mighty Maryland Librarians

Let's showcase the MMASLs. Watch the video below to see just a few of the Maryland librarians who were recognized by MASL this year.

Open Session for the MASL Advocacy Committee

On April 28, 2021, the MASL Advocacy Committee will meet to discuss needs, concerns, and next steps.

  • Please use the Advocacy Now option on to submit requests for advocacy.

  • The first thirty minutes is a closed session among Advocacy Committee Members from 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm.
  • Use the link below to join the Open Session from 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm.
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Winter Edition 2021

Chat and Chew: PROadvocacy and You

Trying to get people excited about advocacy can be difficult. Marianne Fitzgerald, a member of the Advocacy Committee, had the idea to invites guests to talk about their connections to the pillars of PROadvocacy.* From that idea, was born Chat ad Chew.

The inaugural Chat ad Chew was a discussion with Jarred Amato, co-founder of the PROJECT LIT book club. Watch and listen to the conversation.

The next Chat and Chew will be February 24, 2021. The MASL Advocacy Committee will discuss successes and opportunities to highlight the work of school librarians in the state of Maryland. We will also highlight the #MASLMDchallenge and discuss ideas school librarians have to shine a light on the work they do during the month of March for School Library Month.

Registration for the February event is required.

PROAdvocacy and You

Learn how MASLMD's Advocacy Team is proactive in advocating for school libraries and programs.

ALA: Take Action

Usy key issues provided by ALA and contact Congress.

Meet the Team

Tools for You to Choose as a PROadvocate

Social media

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets are great ways to share pictures, anecdotes, data related to your work as a library media specialist. If you are new to social media, try sharing one item a week. If you are a veteran of social media, try adding an action (something viewers can do) to show their support for your library program and your position.

Animoto (videos)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a video can do. Consider using Animoto or any other video making service to showcase your library program. Sharing the video during a department meeting, PTSA meeting, or school board meeting is a great way to be a PROadvocate. Here is a link to an Animoto tutorial.

Piktochart (or something else for Infographics)

Share your data in an infographic that you create. You can view a sample here. If you are interested in using Piktochart, here is a link to sign-up and a link to a tutorial.

Are you up for the #MASLMDchallenge?

Take a picture of one of the ways you are meeting the #MASLMDchallenge and share it via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Those who accept the challenge will be rewarded.

We Need Your Input.

Please complete the form to provide your input.

Take Action

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What Can We Do?

How can we enhance the perception of school libraries and what we do?

Top Three Tips for PROadvocacy