This project has been an interesting foray into the life of a librarian. I absolutely believe in the importance of advocacy for the library because we hear so often that libraries are dying out. I think that if everyone in the school and community have a better understanding of what a library and the librarians can do it will provide more acceptance and utilization of the library. The advocacy project seemed like an easy task, tell my stakeholder group what was needed for the library and how that would benefit the school as a whole. I didn’t think about how much research and effort it would take to talk a group into why this was important, what it could do for each of the stakeholder groups, how we could measure the impacts, etc. I think that the research definitely helped to make me feel more confident in my decisions and helped build a better project, hopefully.
A few weeks ago I answered this question, If your administrator stopped you in the hall now and asked why your library program and position are important to student learning.
I don’t think that my answer would change much from then to now. I still believe everything I said. While I have more research under my belt it is for this particular project and that is important for the library but I think that my initial response was created to give the impression of what the overall importance of the library is. I think that it is wildly undervalued as are the librarians that serve it. The library is seen as a place that you can check out books and use the computer but there are so many things that a librarian can assist stakeholders with. They can collaborate with teachers to enhance curricula, they can create workshops and videos to teach stakeholders how to use technology, properly cite sources, find the best resources for research, etc. They keep the collection diversified and up to par with the size of the school, network and go to conferences to build understanding of new technology and tools to assist classroom and school efforts. There are so many things a librarian can do and advocacy is a big tool in order to complete these efforts because the library is not seen as important as it once was. Advocacy allows the stakeholders to see what the librarian has to offer and take part in those efforts to better themselves, their classrooms and the school as a whole.