PROFESSIONAL READING

Political Advocacy for School Librarians: Leveraging Your Influence

Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. Jan. 2019. 120p. bibliog. index. pap. $40. ISBN 9781440863882.
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Ewbank (Montana State University, Bozeman), who boasts a wealth of leadership and advocacy experience, explains how and why school librarians should get involved in political advocacy efforts to promote, strengthen, and support libraries. She advises readers on how to communicate effectively with government officials, create short- and long-term plans, respond to successes and failures, and avoid burnout. A helpful overview of educational governance in the United States is divided into chapters focusing on local, state, and federal levels. Because local and state governments vary, this information is more general, but the author does offer valuable resources. Throughout, Ewbank emphasizes persistence, building relationships with political stakeholders, and working with others who share similar goals. While school librarians are the target audience, the book encourages partnerships among all types of librarians, and much of the information could apply to broader advocacy efforts. Ewbank also stresses the benefits of collaborating with professional organizations. Each chapter closes with reflective questions, case studies, and/or action steps to guide readers as they implement their own advocacy plans.
VERDICT A useful primer for anyone interested in learning how to be an effective advocate for libraries of all types

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