Do you need some suggestions on important ideas to talk about with your legislators and other stakeholders? We have them right here! Remember: Legislative Day is Feb. 22. If you can’t attend in person, send an email to be sure your legislator knows about the important work you are doing in libraries!!
The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and the Information
and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) support state funding for the following programs that sustain library services in Minnesota:
We all know that advocacy for our libraries is important. We know libraries are wonderful and valuable members of the communities they serve; but other people need to be educated in our value!
But it can be hard to know how to get started, or what to say. So we are starting you off with a few ideas here. These will also be on our website, and we invite members to contribute their advocacy materials so we can share them on the site!
I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time, and I love that podcasts are, once again, on the radar and a popular topic of conversation. Several times over the last few months I’ve heard people say, “Have you listened to [insert podcast name]? It’s so great!” Podcasts sometimes feel like short little audio books; perfect snippets for those of us with limited spare time or those of us with commitment issues. I listen to popular podcasts like Serial and Hidden Brain, literary podcasts like The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, music podcasts like Tiny Desk, and book podcasts like Book Riot.
Recently, I decided that it was time to take podcasting into my own hands. I’m an avid reader, and because of my role as the school’s “librarian” (even though that’s not my official title), I’m often asked to help others find a book. In conjunction, I’m also in a high school setting which can sometimes be a finicky place to get reading traffic in to the library. High schools aren’t like elementary and middle schools where classes of kids come down once a week to check books in and out. Instead, I often rely on the roaming traveler in the book stacks or the rare, “My friend said I just HAVE to read this book!” for foot traffic. Podcasting seemed like the logical blending of these two situations. I could push out my book recommendations and at the same time try to create a bit more excitement about reading and the new books we have available.
At CMLE Headquarters, we are working to help our members build connections with others! With our regular dinner gatherings underway, we want to implement the next request from members: group visits to libraries across the system!!
We want to be sure we schedule visits at days and times that work for you! So fill out the comment form below to send your best day/time to us. Feel free to write more info into the open-ended question, or email us with ideas!
CMLE continues to serve as your sources for news around the profession. There are a lot of changes happening nationally that affect libraries, and library activities and missions. We are sharing information from our professional organizations with you to help you sort through ideas for yourself, and to have professional information to share with your stakeholders.
Sharing information freely, and understanding the value of valid and reliable resources as part of information literacy, are cornerstones of our professional work. These are issues we deal with every day in the library. Any changes to these core ideas are a problem for us, and we want to be able to address them.
People sometimes ask what kinds of things would be appropriate topics for library advocacy. Certainly anything you feel impacts your work in libraries, or libraries across the country, would be very appropriate to discuss! You should feel empowered to talk with your legislators (local, state, and federal) to share your experiences and your views. (If you want to practice an elevator speech, or having another set of eyes look at an email draft – CMLE is here to help you!)