To track progress on strategic goals, YALSA sends out an annual membership survey. This year, questions focused on how we practice advocacy at the local, state and national level.
One of the goals of the organizational plan was “100% of YALSA members conduct advocacy at some level and recognize that they are doing so. Activities include but not limited to participating in local youth development boards and groups.” So in this year’s member survey we asked you what types of local and legislative library activities you have engaged in and if not, why not?
We were pleased and surprised by the results. The great news is that out of members who filled out the survey, 80% practiced local advocacy and 62% practiced legislative advocacy in the last year. With an incoming administration in the White House, ALA and YALSA called on members to share information about the impact of libraries and library funding in the lives of teens. And thanks to those 62% of members who engaged in legislative advocacy in the last year, we kept IMLS funds in the the federal budget.
The largest barriers to practicing legislative advocacy were having the time and the know how (about 17% of members responded they did not know how to engage in legislative advocacy and 16% indicated they just don’t have the time). If you are looking to build your skills in this area or quick resources that can help you have a big impact, check out:
- The newly updated YALSA Advocacy Toolkit with a great section on legislative advocacy.
- The YALSA Wiki with information on legislative advocacy and statistics to share with your legislators on or before National Library Legislative Day (May 8, 2017)
- ALA’s resources for Virtual Library Legislative Day
We appreciate everyone who took the time to answer the member survey as we work to measure our progress toward the goals outlined in the organizational plan.