Warning message

ALA Connect User logins are disabled for a temporary "gray-out" period, to prevent new posts while we upgrade into the New Connect. This gray-out period will begin on March 26th, and the new site will be launched on April 25th.

Users can use Search to view public content. Logins will be reinstated and users can create new posts, upload files, etc. post launch.

Thank you for your patience in cooperation. Check out training resources and schedule at:

Or contact Julianna Kloeppel for training or Pam Akins with questions/concerns.
Go to:
Online Doc
Meeting Request
Jenna Nemec-Loise's picture

Spring 2016 EAC: Take Action Tuesday Challenges

Howdy, bold and intrepid Everyday Advocates!

Welcome to the Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC), which we're launching next Tuesday, March 1.

As we plan the four Take Action Tuesday challenges you'll complete as part of this experience, I'd like to hear from you:

  • What advocacy topics would you like to tackle?
  • What new advocacy muscles would you like to flex?
  • What types of challenges would you like to design?

We want the EAC to be customized to you and your growing skill set! With that in mind, let's start brainstorming entry points as we take the plunge into Everyday Advocacy next week.

Consider this your advocacy playground, sandbox, and safe space. Post your ideas, and let's get the conversation started!

Rose Hopkins's picture

Here are just a few thoughts:

Advocacy Topics:

-Diversity in our collections and in programming. Not just purchasing the items, but using them and making patrons aware that they exist.

-There is such hype over STEM programming that I’ve noticed some of the non-STEM programming getting lower attendance. While STEM is great I think it is important we advocate for all of our library programs and assist patrons in seeing the value in non-STEM programming.

Advocacy Muscles:

-I’d like to be able to better empower community members to advocate for the library, especially those who love their library, but may be reluctant to interact with their local governing agencies or who think their voice doesn’t make a difference.


-Jenna, can you please give us one example of a previous challenge?

Jenna Nemec-Loise's picture

Hi, Rose and everyone:

You can find previous Take Action Tuesday challenges on the Everyday Advocacy website, the home base for all our work.

Check out the challenges from the Fall 2015 EAC for all the details on what participants tackled.


Jenna Nemec-Loise
Division Councilor
Association for Library Service to Children


Rosemary Kiladitis's picture

Hi there!

I'm so excited to be part of the Challenge. Thank you again for the chance to jump in!

Advocacy Muscles:

I mainly blog children's and YA book reviews on my blog, but I want to talk more about the library: what I'm doing, best practices, what other librarians are doing. I read a lot of librarian blogs, but just haven't been able make the leap into more content. I'd like to flex that blogging muscle and use my blog/social media to better advocate for early childhood literacy and how the library is a parent and school partner.

I also want to focus on diversity in the collection. I'm a librarian in Corona, Queens. We've got a very large new immigrant population, primarily Spanish speakers. Our collection of Spanish picture books is pretty strong, as is our nonfiction, but the chapter books and novels for school age children needs work. I've been working on adding to it, but I'm finding it difficult to find popular books in Spanish! For instance, A Series of Unfortunate Events is no longer available in Spanish, and only a handful of Goosebumps novels are currently available. I want to be able to create a collection that's welcoming for everyone, and I really want publishers to understand how critical it is to have backlist available for speakers of other languages. Backlist beyond the classics.

Outreach is another muscle I'd like to flex. I've emailed a few private schools, introducing myself, but haven't heard back about class visits or me visiting them. We get class visits here quite often, but I'd like to get into the schools, work with the school librarians (if there are any, sadly), and create resource lists so I can get books on subjects that the kids will need and let the kids and parents know what resources we have that they can use, like our library databases.

I think that's all I've got right now. Looking forward to hearing from everyone!



Rosemary Kiladitis
Children's and YA book reviews at http://momreadit.wordpress.com

Colleen Cochran's picture

Hi Everyone!

I am super excited to have the opportunity to participate in the challenge and am open to exploring pretty much anything in the realm of advocacy. 

What advocacy topics would you like to tackle?

  • I am totally up for exploring ways to increase the diversity of collections & programs, and would especially like to work on improving the effectiveness of my explanation regarding why providing, focusing on, and expanding the diversity in the children's department is important for all children.
  • I'd also like to explore  ways of leveraging advocacy activities into actions by those with the power to write checks, and make decisions

What new advocacy muscles would you like to flex?

  • I would like to learn which advocacy muscles to flex when confronted with old ideas, such as "Why would we try something new?" or "That's the way it is" or "We do it that way because that's the way we've always done things"

What types of challenges would you like to design? 

  • I would like to explore the advocacy opportunities that may exist within my library, specifically interdepartmental opportunities and with our Friends group.

Looking forward to 'working' with everyone.

Stay awesome!

Stacey Rattner's picture


I'm excited (and nervous) to tackle these challenges and get to know you all!  

As an elementary librarian in a small school district that has a split MS/HS librarian in our district, I would like to get the courage to advocate to administration and the Board to get a FT librarian in each building. It might be a tough battle to fight but it would be great to have your support.

Thanks!  This is going to be great!


Keturah Cappadonia's picture


  • I'd like to learn how to use advocacy to strengthen my outreach efforts to work with school librarians and social service providers to help strengthen the services we are providing to our community's youth and families.
  • I'd like to learn how to improve the message I communicate to elected officials, community groups, and other figures outside the library community to be a stronger representative for our library and for youth library services.

Thank you!

Skye Corey's picture

Greetings from Idaho, fellow Advocates!

I'm so excited to start this challenge with all of you, and I can't wait to get to know you and learn from you over the next month!

I’m a relatively new Youth Services Librarian (May 18 will mark my first full year as a librarian in Idaho) at the Meridian Library District. I’m actually from London, Ontario, Canada, so it’s been a year full of great change and rapid learning. I’m so fortunate to have an amazing job that gives me the flexibility to engage in all sorts of advocacy both within and outside of the library, and I’m excited to learn not only how I can be a better advocate for the children that I serve, but also to learn how to equip others to advocate for children.

There are so many advocacy topics I'd love to tackle and new muscles that I'd like to flex! Like Rosemary and Keturah, I'd like to know more about how to build strong relationships with school librarians. I want to know how to "eliminate barriers to library service for children based on socioeconomic circumstances..." and I want to learn how to communicate and collaborate with other individuals and agencies who have a vested interest in children. I would also like to know how to work with others to empower and equip the smaller, less well-funded libraries across the state of Idaho. Finally, I want to learn how to empower children to advocate for themselves both within the library and outside of the library (for example, the Tween Advisory Board that I started in January wants to make the case for a "Tween Space" within the library and I want to be able to equip them with the tools they need to make that a reality). 

I loved all of the challenges that the last cohort designed, and I'd like to be able to have a challenge where we somehow show those in our department that outreach and advocacy are at the core of what it means to be a Youth Services Librarian. I'd also like to have a challenge where we learn to "cultivate the press," and where we design a program that allows for children to craft their own "elevator speeches."

Looking forward to learning with you all!


Take Care,



Rosemary Kiladitis's picture

Hi again!

I'd also like to know how to engage the older tweens and the teens in my library. I've tried to put programs together for them, but they fall flat. The teens just don't seem interested in programming, but then I feel like there's got to be something; I just haven't found it yet.

Any ideas/challenges would be welcome!

Rosemary Kiladitis
Children's and YA book reviews at http://momreadit.wordpress.com

Gayle Pulley's picture

What advocacy topics would you like to tackle?

I have been a school librarian for 16 years and in the public library for just over a year.  Funding and creating programming for parents is a new and interesting challenge.  

What new advocacy muscles would you like to flex?

The library raises 30% of our budget from patron donations.  Most of the donations come from our older adults.  I would like to explore ways to create ongoing relationships with our parents.  This would be done possibly with specific programming designed for their needs, educate them about our funding structure, and for them to become annual donors.  They wouldn't be our major donors now, but my goal would be for them to develop an ongoing habit of donating to the library.

 What types of challenges would you like to design?

I would like to develop programming for our parents so they feel that the library is not just a place to bring their children. They feel overwhelmed and don't spend time for themselves.  


Jenna Nemec-Loise's picture

Thanks so much for the rich discussion so far, everyone! I'm so excited about your enthusiasm for the EAC and what we can accomplish in our time together. I wish we had more than four weeks to tackle all the topics and areas you've mentioned!

Since so many of you mentioned diversity, we'll use that as our first challenge. (See my separate post for all the details.) I'm also hearing the following as areas of interest:

  • School-public library cooperation (i.e. building relationships with our school or public library counterparts);
  • Advocating to administrators, funders, community organizations, etc., about the importance of library service to children; and
  • Cultivating other advocates both within the library (colleagues and volunteers) and beyond it (kids, families, community leaders, elected officials, etc.).

Is this a fair summary of what everyone's mentioned? Are there other areas that don't fall under one of these more general topics? I want us to have enough flexibility with our challenges that everyone can customize them to their specific settings and situations.

Let me know what you think, and I'll do my best to draft a few more challenges for use to choose from.


Jenna Nemec-Loise
Division Councilor
Association for Library Service to Children


Laura Arnhold's picture

I'm a little late to the game!  I didn't set up the email notification, so I wasn't getting updates.

What advocacy topics would you like to tackle?

I'd like to be able to pass along information to my coworkers on how to create short, quick elevator speeches to use at the circ desk, in the community and with township employees.

What new advocacy muscles would you like to flex?

I'd like to start trying my hand at reaching out into the community and showing how important our services are to children and families.  Our town is currently in the midst of creating a new community center, which will provide a number of opportunities for new programming for residents, but at a cost.  I want to remind residents what we have to offer- for free!


What types of challenges would you like to design?

I want to make sure we're providing parents with short pieces of information about the importance of early literacy, reading aloud (any age) and the importance of a child's choice in what they are reading!

Angela M. Petrie's picture

Apologies for falling off the edge of the earth. I neglected to set up email notifications, and, as it does, time flew. Tomorrow, and the next few weeks, are all about advocacy.

I'm a Youth Services Supervisor in an associate library of a larger system. I am responsible for all aspects of services from birth to teen including programming, collection development, outreach, marketing, social media, website content, and advocacy. The library board is governing and although the director and three board members have advocated strongly for more staffing for our exemplary youth services department, the nays equaled the yays and so, no go.

We are in the midst of a strategic plan implementation that, in some major ways, doesn't seem to have the best interests of our community in mind. I'd like to learn how to better advocate without emotion to be taken seriously.

Additionally, the demographic of our users is mostly white. I've recently attended some workshops on the importance of everyday diversity in our collections and programming. I've gotten push back from admin and from staff who have been critical of some of the titles I've added to the collection, etc. I know why I'm making the decisions that I'm making, but I need to practice better language to get the important points across in conversations. I don't want to feel like I'm reacting.

I look forward to learning from you all and am heading off to work on my elevator speech!

Angie Petrie