Get Ready for School Library Month!

Ideas for Easy Advocacy

Help Us Help You!

School Library Month is around the corner, and we want to get SLRI messaging out. How can you help? Lots of ways. This newsletter has options you can choose from depending on how much time you have to give. (And if you have no time today, come back to the list tomorrow. Or the next day. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there add up!)

We'll be in touch again on April 1. In the meantime, if you have additional ideas, please share them with the SLRI Advocacy Committee.

Have 5 minutes? Contribute to our Kickstarter

School administrators, legislators, taxpayers and even parents and classroom teachers do not always have a clear understanding of how the role of school librarian has evolved. Our Advocacy Video committee is working to produce an 8-minute documentary to tell our story; we'll be able to use it to bring our message to a variety of audiences.

Visit Kickstarter to watch a 1-minute preview and contribute to this effort.

Have 10 Minutes? Fill out our survey

We are collecting data on school library budgets, collections, and staffing. We need YOUR school's information included so that we can present a true snapshot of the state of school libraries in Rhode Island. If you haven't already done so, PLEASE fill out our survey. It should only take about 10 minutes.

As a reminder, here are the results of last year's survey.

Have 15 Minutes? Ask your students for their stories

As we announced in our previous newsletter, OLIS and SLRI are partnering up to take over Reading Week planning from the now-defunct RI State Council of the International Reading Association. Going forward, the Reading Week theme will be the same as the following Summer Reading Program theme. For 2017, it's "Build a Better World."

This theme dovetails nicely with the SLM theme: "Because School Libraries Empower Students." Ask your kids to share how the library has empowered them to build a better world: were they inspired by an inventor's biography? have they created something new in a Makerspace? did they learn something fascinating in a nonfiction book? were their eyes opened by something that happened to a fictional character? have they participated in a volunteer or fundraising activity?

If you receive examples from your kids, please email so we can use them!

Big image

Have an Hour? Craft your "elevator speech"

From ALA: "An elevator speech is a [short, specific, and memorable] message intended to spur decision makers to action. ... For school librarians, decision makers can be school principals, parent organizations, district administrators, elected officials, community partners and more. It's good to have a few elevator speeches ready--or a few versions of the same speech--so that you can quickly shift to address the audience in front of you."

It's crucial to include real anecdotes and/or data ... what compelling stories can you share in a couple of sentences? See examples at ALA (scroll to bottom of page).

Big image

Have a couple of hours? Invite visitors to your library

Want to show off the wonderful things you're doing with your students? Invite visitors in to observe and interact. Ideas include:

  • Reporters - Email Meredith Moore if you're willing to be interviewed
  • School district administrators
  • School committee members
  • City officials
  • State representatives