Advocacy

I think the advocacy that really matters is what you do day to day, and the relationships you build. I’m not saying that everything from there will fall into place, nor that we should reject all other kinds of advocacy, but I think that is at the heart. I think both Woolls, Weeks, and Coatney’s reading and The Many Faces of School Library Leadership touch on this. They then expand further, like advocating at various levels and in various ways. I liked Kristin’s piece on being able to have an elevator speech ready, it’s really taking that idea of a teachable moment to heart.

I’ve been having a hard time with some of the things we’ve read, specifically in the Woolls, Weeks and Coatney’s chapter. They focus on marketing and public relations of the library based on a business model. The end goal being to have the library the center of the school, so everyone can understand its place and value. While I can’t disagree that advocacy for the library, it’s services and resources, is important, I question the mentality of using the “business model” for the end goal to be the library the center of school. Doesn’t that sound a little pretentious?

I dislike the business model concept primarily because I believe it promotes competition among resources (like student/teacher/parent’s time, money, space) when we are at a time that we should be figuring out ways to better work together and support one another. I feel as if in education we’re on this steep slope of higher and higher stakes. The pressures in education for all involved are intense. I’m not exactly sure how adapting a business model to try and focus everyone on your space is the best option here, nor the best use of time in helping to support fellow co-workers and students.

I’m not saying advocacy is wrong, or that I will never ever advocate. I’m just not certain I completely agree with the ideas presented by Woolls, Weeks and Coatney. But I’m young, and learning. So maybe my hesitancy is just from my own naiveness, and my aversions to the business model in education come from being in a liberal view of education bubble. Also, maybe if the end goal were focused more on the school, rather than just the library as a center, maybe I would feel more comfortable. I’m honestly still trying to figure out how I feel about this.

With that said, I did like the practical ideas presented in The Many Faces of School Library Leadership that allowed for the librarian to be apart of the school community, and greater community. And I appreciate the leadership role that advocacy gives to a librarian. I’m just trying to figure out how exactly I see myself leading that role. Thanks for reading my thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “Advocacy

  1. nicolesa602 says:

    “I think the advocacy that really matters is what you do day to day, and the relationships you build. I’m not saying that everything from there will fall into place, nor that we should reject all other kinds of advocacy, but I think that is at the heart.”

    I agree. It’s certainly the advocacy that has the greatest lasting impact, and builds strong enough personal connections to you and the library that someone might be willing to start advocating on your behalf. This emphasis on building relationships seems to be the new norm for most patron/donor relations, and it’s one I’ve run into a lot in other advocacy discussions and particularly in in discussions of what’s needed for fruitful fundraising and donor relations.

  2. kristinfont says:

    “I dislike the business model concept primarily because I believe it promotes competition among resources (like student/teacher/parent’s time, money, space) when we are at a time that we should be figuring out ways to better work together and support one another.”

    It’s interesting how this is a consistent theme in your blogging. This idea of being allied with the school’s goals is clearly important, so think about how you can highlight this when you’re prepping your eportfolio next term, interviewing, etc.

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