Section 7: Advocacy 7.1 What is Advocacy? --> View AASL's "Introduction to Advocacy and Advocacy Training" (ppt) “I’ve been in school libraries where the only book on our native peoples was published in the 1930s and spoke of “Red Indians.” The book was on the shelf, along with a great deal of dust and little else...The lack of warmth and vibrancy in that school, the clear unimportance of books and the joy they can give, was unnerving. I will admit that when I left that joyless school, I sat in my car and, for the first and only time after a school visit, wept for those children in grades kindergarten through eight.” - Linda Granfield, Author. What is advocacy? Pat Cavill writes that, "advocacy is a planned, deliberate and sustained effort to raise awareness of an issue. Support and awareness are built incrementally, using a variety of public relations and marketing tools. Advocacy has to do with collaboration and implies that 'Your agenda will be greatly assisted by what we have to offer'." - Pat Cavill, 1998. Pat Cavill and Ken Haycock espouse the "5-Step Plan" in regards to advocacy efforts, and offer features of successful advocacy efforts. View Ken Haycocks's "New Views on Advocacy: Moving the Agenda Forward" presentation (ppt). Why is advocacy important? The sustained, incremental effort can help in gaining: "status among conflicting and competing priorities; funding; partners who appreciate our importance; recognition of the role libraries and [teacher-]librarians can play in raising achievement." - Adapted from SchoolLibrariesAdvocacy.org.uk (link). According to the School Library Systems of New York State, teacher-librarians must take responsibility for the survival of school library programs. Taking the time to undertake advocacy efforts, such as writing a letter in support of school libraries, and educating oneself and others about the potential of school libraries, is a role that all teacher-librarians share. All teacher-librarians need to participate in the identification and sharing of evidence of achievement and success, and in ensuring that the value of school libraries continues to be visible. - Adapted from School Library Systems of New York State (link). A large number of advocacy ideas (such as bookmarks, displays, postcards, brochures, presentations, videos, and posters) and success stories have been made available online. To explore some of these ideas and stories, enter "school library advocacy" in a search engine. 7.2 Past Efforts --> View past Coquitlam advocacy efforts (link) SD43 teacher-librarians have always been quite active as advocates for school libraries. For a sampling of some of our past advocacy efforts, click on the green link above. 7.3 Other Districts --> Visit BCTLA's Advocacy page (link) In addition to SD43, teacher-librarians across North America have stepped up their advocacy efforts. Click on the above green link to visit the BCTLA Advocacy page, which contains examples of past advocacy efforts from other B.C. school districts. Click here for advocacy ideas from across Canada (link), and from the United States, both current and past (AASL Archives).