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Page history last edited by Kathy Lowe 10 years, 4 months ago

Advocacy Resources for Parents


Click here for a suggested agenda for a presentation to parents.


BE SURE TO SIGN UP for OUR E-MAIL LIST: MSLAfriends@yahoogroups.com, for friends of the Massachusetts School Library Association and supporters of school libraries in Massachusetts.


The School Library Program: What Parents Should Know

Brochure created for Massachusetts PTA 


Massachusetts Power: A Parents Guide to School Libraries

This booklet, developed with input from MSLA members and co-authored by MSLA Executive Director Kathy Lowe, provides one-page messages directed at parents to examine the benefits of the school library program. It provides many tips on how to connect with parents and turn them into library advocates. Each page can be duplicated as much needed for a single school. The information provided is great for newsletters, parent awareness nights, mailings, workshops, and handouts to give visiting parents. The book and CD are available from LMC Source (http://www.lmcsource.com). $20 for the book and $15 for the CD.


The following pages from MA Power would be of interest to parents and can be adapted for a presentation:



MSLA/MLA Joint Statements



Ask parents to support MSLA in requesting BESE:

  • appoint a person to oversee school library programs
  • ensure this person is a school librarian
  • put together a long-term plan for school library programs in Massachusetts
  • enforce Chapter 15
  • form a School Library Advisory Council


The School Library Link Newsletter designed by MSLA member Michelle McGarry to help school librarians promote their programs to parents. Available free to school library teachers/school library media specialists, who then can download it, print it out, and send it home with their students.


What Parents Should Know, AASL Advocacy Toolkit.  A more detailed document on the AASL  page also provides parents with specific ideas for advocating for their school library program:   http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslissues/toolkits/parentoutreach.cfm


Stand for Children in Worcester: Info contributed by Pat Fontes


State of Washington Parent Coalition


Cyberbullying and How to Avoid It: Doug Johnson, Mankato, MN Public Schools


New Jersey PTA Resolution


Social Networking Risks: The Myths and Realities, Nancy Willard's Weblog


How Dangerous is the Internet for Children? Pogue's Posts: The Latest in Technology by David Pogue 


Joyce Valenza's Advocacy Video


Letter from a parent arguing against staffing libraries with volunteers from Northborough MA


Winchester (MA) parents' presentation in support of professional staffing for the elementary school libraries

Report from Susan Verdicchio:

The Winchester elementary library parent volunteers are happy to report there will be two more library/media specialists hired for our schools next year. Winchester Town Meeting voted a school budget increase of about 6.6%, which the school committee and superintendent confirmed would fund two additional full-time library positions in the elementary schools next year.This will bring the total number of elementary LMSs to three. The School Committee and Superintendent have stated the plan for the following year is to again add two more, so there will be a full-time library/media specialist in each of our five elementary schools.


We started lobbying for this at the beginning of the school year, to be sure the library staff positions were in the earliest budget proposal. We made a presentation and slide show to the School Committee, and repeated it to a meeting of all elementary principals (who initiate requests for staff positions in the budget). We stressed how vital the school library is to both literacy and technology. The High School Librarian also spoke at the School Committee meeting to explain that a library media program at the elementary level is needed, or students are unprepared to be library users in the upper grades. We have a new superintendent this year, Bill McAlduff, who has become a strong proponent of making the elementary libraries 21st Century learning centers where teachers and students access and use technology.


We also made the presentation to elementary parents association meetings at all five schools, and encouraged parents to write letters to the School Committee. Once the two additional library positions were in the school committee's proposed budget, we wrote letters to other town budget decision-makers -- the Town Manager, Board of Selectmen, and Finance Committee. The Winchester Public Library graciously held an event where these decision-makers were invited to hear about technology in the library and how elementary students should be learning research and technology skills.


We are very grateful to all the parents who wrote letters and spread the word; it was truly a grassroots effort!

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