Some months ago, I had the privilege of facilitating a meeting of the Colorado Association of School Libraries (CASL). The topic was advocacy -- and it was urgent. I asked them this question: suppose you were running a great ship, with all kinds of important operating tasks. Suddenly, that ship is the Titanic, and it just hit an iceberg. Would you keep doing the same tasks?
School libraries in Colorado are in trouble. Despite wonderful research showing just how much they contribute to academic performance, school librarians are being laid off, replaced with volunteers or technology people, and generally being dismissed from a progressive educational strategy.
The good folks of CASL came up with a host of ideas for communicating differently, in a way that is more focused on the people who make these funding decisions. To that end, they've put together a website -
caslsurvive/ with a bunch of ideas, and immediately useful tools, to get the word out.
Definitely worth a look.
These days, I'm the director of the American Library Association' s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I'm also executive director and secretary of the Freedom to Read Foundation.
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