Welcome to the first post in a series that YALSA is sponsoring this month on the topic of advocacy. Throughout February, members of YALSA's Advocacy Task Force and Legislation Committee (along with the ALA President and President Elect, YALSA Division members, and YALSA Executive Board Members) will post daily on topics related to advocating for teens and for libraries.
Topics on the advocacy schedule for this month include:
- ALA advocacy tools
- Why advocacy is important
- Everyday advocacy in the school library
- Why advocacy should be part of a teen librarian's job description
- Creating Partnerships
- And more
We hope these posts will help readers to become better advocates in their own libraries and also help to spread the word about why advocating for teens and libraries is important.
When I started out as a teen librarian, I didn't realize at all how important advocacy was in my job and for the teens in the community. After a short period of time I understood that if I wanted to guarantee that teens had great library services, I needed to stand up for them and for the programs and services a library can provide to them. I realized, that I couldn't simply say "It will never happen" or "No one understands what I'm trying to accomplish" instead I needed to inform others about what teen services and teens are all about.
If I didn't do it, who would? If you don't do it, who will?
Taking on an advocacy role in a library or community isn't always easy. But, it is a key aspect of what teen librarians need to do. These posts should help guarantee that no matter what library you work in, or what teens you serve, you'll be able to advocate for what they need and what the library should provide.