April 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

If You Don’t Schedule It, You Won’t Do It! | Tech Tidbits from the Guybrarian’s Gal

As summer wanes, we librarians are organizing our calendars for the coming school year.  Consider hosting one or more of the following events:

  • Library Card Sign-Up Month—September 2012.  Back-to-school night and parent/teacher conferences are great opportunities to encourage students, staff, and parents to sign up for a public library card.  Invite representatives from your local library to come with registration materials and the ability to issue cards on the spot.  Showcase resources available such as ebooks and databases.  Set up in the hallway with your coffee cart, where you can be sure to see a steady stream of soon-to-be patrons.
  • Banned Websites Awareness Day—October 3, 2012. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires K–12 schools and libraries in the United States to filter certain online content. Get your patrons talking about what should and shouldn’t be filtered in elementary, middle, and high schools, and in public libraries.  Post a graffiti wall with specific questions for patrons to comment on.  Provide markers and Post-it notes and post specific questions such as, “Should schools filter student access to racist speech?  Gaming sites? Pornographic images?”  Invite classes to participate as well as your daily walk-ins.
  • State Testing/ACT Day Set up a “Grab ‘n Gab” resource fair for teachers to explore your library’s resources. Consider offering mini bagels and muffins, juice, and coffee as incentives for teachers to come visit.  After all, they’ve only time for a few quick bites before returning to tag-team the administration of the test.  Prepare a display of books, movies, and database demonstrations that might be new to them.  Host a subject area mini-scavenger hunt for nonfiction resources with prizes for the best answers or have a raffle for prizes, which might include a few newly released DVDs and books.
  • Library Snapshot Day—April 2013. Film a day-In-the-life video of your library, or capture the beginning-of-the-day rush as teachers and students scramble to print assignments, check out equipment, and ask for assistance to get their day off and running. Continue to film as the day unfolds. Edit and post on your website.

Schedule your events and publish them in the school newspaper, newsletter, and website and invite parents to take part in school activities. Let local newspapers and journalists know what you’re up to, and collaborate with your public library to host joint events.  For more events and ideas, visit the American Library Association’s website.

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Dodie Ownes About Dodie Ownes

Dodie Ownes left the glamorous world of retrospective conversion and disco to jump on the library vendor train. Since then, she has been learning at the feet of the masters about all things library. Dodie lives in Golden, Colorado, where even the sign which arches the main street says "Howdy."

Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
Teens want to make a difference and become advocates for the things they care about. Librarians working with young people are in a unique position to help them make an impact on their communities and schools. Ignite your thinking and fuel these efforts at your library through this Library Journal online course—April 24 & May 8.
Maker Workshop
In this two-week online course, you’ll create a maker program that aligns with your budget and community needs, with personal coaching from maker experts—from libraries and beyond—May 23 & June 6, 2018.