As part of YALSA President Shannon Peterson’s presidential theme (Amplified: Speaking Up for Teens and Libraries), YALSA is working on a number of projects to help YALSA members speak up for teens and for teen library services. As part of this effort, I recently worked with other YALSA members to update YALSA’s Advocacy Toolkit. The new, updated, streamlined version can be found here, in PDF format, for easy downloading and sharing.

The toolkit it just that: a collection of easy-to-use tools for doing everyday advocacy in your library. The topics covered include:

  • What is advocacy? The differences between advocacy, marketing, and lobbying.
  • Everyday advocacy: what you can do in five minutes, fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, or more.
  • Developing and delivering your message: how to develop a persuasive message and deliver it with conviction.
  • Using web tools for advocacy: getting maximum impact from social media.
  • Build partnerships: tips for connecting with others both inside and outside of the library.
  • Basics of national legislative advocacy: what to know if you’re going to take it to the next level and advocate with state and national legislators
  • Meeting with elected officials: they’re not really that scary!
  • Talking points: these will help you develop your message.
  • Advocacy resources: in print and on the web–more tools to get you where you want to be.

Don’t let the idea of advocacy scare you. It’s just a term for doing the important work of speaking up for the teens we care about and the libraries they need. If you don’t do it, who’s going to? The great thing about YALSA is that there are over 5,000 of us, and together we can amplify our voices and really get our message out there to the people who need to hear it.

Start by reading the Advocacy Toolkit, then get out there and AMPLIFY!

Sarah Flowers

YALSA Past-President

About Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers is a YALSA Past President and former Deputy County Librarian for the Santa Clara County (CA) Library. Currently she does writing and speaking on topics related to teen services and teaches online courses for California's Infopeople Project.

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