I've been watching for months as current president Molly Raphael worked with a group to shape her initiative, "Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities." It officially launched at Midwinter in January. Here's the idea:
Building on the advocacy initiatives of previous ALA Presidents, Molly Raphael’s Presidential Initiative will focus on engaging our communities to advocate for libraries and their value, based on factors that matter to communities and their leaders. Libraries of all types need to rely on partners in the community to advocate on their behalf more than ever before. To make that happen, the library community first needs to know what will motivate these potential partners. What are the aspirational goals of our communities? What do we need to do to transform libraries and librarianship? How do we create active advocacy campaigns in each of our communities that is empowering our constituents to speak out for libraries?
A series of webinars starts this week. The first one is Thursday. It's free, but you need to register for it. I've already signed up! Details:
“Transforming Libraries” Thursday, March 8, 20122 p.m. – 3 p.m. CST.
Visionary professor R. David Lankes, author of the award-winning “Atlas of New Librarianship,” and Barbara Stripling, Co-Chair of ALA President Molly Raphael’s Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities initiative, will host a free webinar designed to stimulate conversation about harnessing the evolving role of libraries and strengthening the librarian’s voice to help shape community perception. Registration for the webinar is mandatory. Visit https://ala.ilinc.com/register/cjvsffz to sign up today.
All of our libraries need more advocates to spread the message of how useful they are. Remember, kudos mean more coming from someone else than from a library employee. I hope you'll join colleagues from across the country in learning about and implementing this.
And, if you'll be at PLA next week, there's a session about it there as well (Thursday, 3/15, at 2pm). Keep an eye on the website to learn more.