About Advocacy

Information about public relations and marketing
Supportive school library and school librarian language in state Department of Education codes and local contracts appears at the bottom of the page

Great Ideas to foster public relations, marketing, and/or advocacy to:


The Texas Library Association organizes a "Library Day" during the legislative session for visiting the offices of all of our representatives in Austin. We put together groups to visit selected Senators and Representatives so that all across the state are covered. What I try and do is provide a bus, food, and spirits for the ride up and back for as many librarians that can get permission to go. HISD is usually one of the larger school contingents going, and it gives them an incredible sense of accomplishment. Most follow up with their legislators when they return. We post on our distribution list any communication that we receive after the visits. This year thanks to the persistence of school librarians statewide, the legislators voted money to purchase databases for the whole state. Prior to this it was a local decision and only about one half of all students had access prior to this.
Jim Hundemer, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas
Depending on when your state legislature meets, pick one day and have local library media specialists visit the home office of the representatives to present the 'platform' for the local association. The LMSs should review the platform and be familiar with local examples that will peak the interest of the representative. A few pieces of student work and/or pictures can also be helpful if presented effectively.
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL


Library Services asks librarians to nominate a person or group of persons who provide exemplary service to their school. It is very similar to Principal of the Year award and it is called the Community Support for School Libraries Award and is presented wherever we can find a meeting to showcase it. Usually it is done at the Librarian of Year annual banquet as well as on campus at a faculty meeting. We also write up a proclamation citing all the great things they have done and give the school $1,000 for library books in their name.
Jim Hundemer, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas
Flex schedule so that the school library media center can remain open at least one night a week for family access. Cooperate with after-school care programs to keep the library open. Check the calendar for special meetings of parent committees or PTA and have the library open so that parents are aware of the resources and have access to them.


HISD has a process whereby librarians can nominate their principal for "School LIbrary-Principal of the Year". There is a rubric and criteria for the selection. We put together a presentation with all of the great things the principal has done and I present the award at a principal's meeting. We have a beautiful obelisk trophy that we present along with a $1,000 coupon for new books for their library.
Jim Hundemer, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas
End-of-the-year data is collected from each school library media specialists and compiled into a "State of the Libraries" bulletin that is
distributed throughout the school district so Administrators can compare performance indicators including circulation statistics, average-age
of-collection, electronic database usage, attendance and annual program goals.
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL

Instituted a three year professional development training entitled "21st Century Library Media Specialist" certificate program. Each year
there is a focus on a different aspect of modern librarianship: Year 1-Assessment; Year 2-Reading and Year 3-Integration of Information
Literacy into everyday library activities. Principals are provided with a list of skills the library media specialist developed during the training.
Only individuals who complete all three years will receive a certificate declaring them a "21st Century LMS."
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL

The Florida library school community created a program evaluation rubric a year ago. The EXC3EL Evaluation Rubric establishes
standards for Florida's library media programs and is a result of a Florida Study recommendation. It is used in several districts as an
additional district tool in conjunction with the development of an individual library media specialist's Professional Development plan.
Nancy Teger, DOE, Tallahassee, FL

Conducted a baseline survey of all teaching staff, then reviewed the data with the building principal and library media specialist. The data will be used in the strategic planning process to set goals. Teacher survey
Gail Formanack, Omaha, NE

Oregon Educational Media Association sponsors the Oregon's Quality Education Model. Schools that meet the criteria are honored.
Edith Fuller, Portland, OR

Make a presentation to principals and other administrators that highlights the importance of libraries as an integral part of education. Here is one that I did. If it is at all useful: borrow it, edit it, chop it into pieces, etc. No attribution needed. PPS-Library Services Presentation to Principals (11/2007)
Sam Jackendoff, Pittsburgh, PA


Library Media Specialists purchase heavily to support the textbook cycle. A committee of LMSs and the appropriate curriculum
specialist work to create an extensive bibliography of print resources correlated to the core content.
Paul Lanata, Jefferson County, KY

The development of Reading Centers in middle school. Collaboration between middle school reading teachers and library media specialists to create instructional activities for the reading students to complete independently. As a result, middle school circulation and collaboration has increased. The program is under consideration for district wide implementation.
Elaine Marrion, Norfolk, VA


Collaboration with public library on booklist for the Summer Reading Program [SPR] with a particular emphasis on getting boys to read. There is also coplanning and participation in SRP kickoff that is right after school ends and the Summer Reading Program begins.
Brenda Gonzalez, Columbus, OH

Initiation of a system-wide Superintendent's Summer Reading List. Three different lists are developed with 25 titles for elementary, middle and high school. Lists are passed out on bookmarks in June accompanied by a letter of support from the Superintendent. A web page is maintained to support the effort. Public libraries and book stores are provided with copies of the lists.
Phyllis D. Gardner, Richmond, VA

Partner with the public library system to provide a consistent message regarding the Out-of-School-Time programming offered including support for homework.
Cathy McLeod, Seattle, WA


HISD has a process for selecting the district's "Librarian of the Year". The LOY is presented to Board during the recognition section of the Board meeting. Board Services prepares a certificate of recognition which I read and embelish if necessary. It gives me an opportunity to thank the Board for support and of course I help the librarian if she needs help to prepare her remarks. The LOY's principal and family are always present. The Board member whose district includes the school where the LOY is from will join the librarian at the podium for remarks and when I say those magic words after citing all the great things that she is done, "Mr./Ms. President, members of the Board and superintendent, I present to you the 2007, 2008 Librarian of the Year, Ms/Mr. And of course, there are at least two standing ovations before we leave. It is rare that I don't receive calls from other Board members voicing support for what we are doing.

Jim Hundemer, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas

Have several students from one of the schools present a book and a proclamation to school board members during National Children's Week or National Library Week.
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL


Start-of-the-year training and mentoring program for librarians new to the school district. Includes overview of the structure of the district,
budgets, 'who-to-turn-to contact list, and much more.
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL

Churchill Downs hosted library media specialist for a "Day at the Downs" on Millionaires Row with lunch, gift book of Breeders Cup and
photo opps. [Localize to important events in your community.]
Paul Lanata, Jefferson County, KY

We initiated Librarian Learning Communities, gatherings of our librarians by geographical area to form sharing and support networks. The LLCs formally meet once or twice a year for a half day. Area Librarians from the Department of Libraries lead the sessions, sharing news/events, delivering professional development, facilitating discussion among attendees. Listserv and group email postings continue the sharing.
Paul Whitsitt, chicago, IL

Library Media Services at the district level form LST Teams [Library SupporT Teams] from staff members to go out to schools to help in unusal circumstances. Schools that are renovating and have to move collections or schools damaged by hurricanes may very well get a visit from an LST Team to give them a boost and help get the job done.
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL

A variation on the above is to have a Book Hospital made up of two media clerks from the district staff who carry a suitcase of supplies to visit schools to mend books. Has gotten very positive reviews.
Jim Hundmer, Houston, TX

The Norfolk Public Schools / Old Dominion University partnership to develop school library media specialists is our #1 success story. Annually, eight tenured classroom teachers are selected to enter the "Grow Our Own" library media specialist preparation program. NPS pays 50% tuition for selected teachers to take the eight courses required for library media certification.
Elaine, Marrion, Norfolk, VA

Boxes of books have been accumulated from school that have closed. On January 30th, the school library media specialists had a 'distribution' party which proved to be a huge success.
Samuel Jackendoff, Pittsburgh, PA

Use the educational TV station to film a 'school library make over' as a school is refurbished.
Jim Hundemer, Houston, TX


Set up a web page for library students that provides activity sheets and links.
Jefferson County, KY


Our office sponsors a system-wide program entitled "Write-A-Book." Students write their own stories in a variety of genre, create their
own book and submit the completed entry to county level competition. Business partners in the community funded publication of the
high school, first place winners. The book of winning stories was distributed to every middle and high school.
Shari, Blohm, Prince George's County, MD

Read to Lead, a program with the Girl Scouts, where adult leaders visit school library media centers and share books with fourth grade
students. A win/win for the school district and for the Girl Scouts who use it as a recruiting opportunity.
Paul Lanata, Jefferson County, KY

Implemented districtwide library lexile initiative by modifying the library automation system to add the student lexile level and the book
lexile level so that both book and student lexiles display at the librarian's checkout station. A second modification to the system will
produce a reading growth chart for each student and a customized summer reading list.
Jim Hundemer, Houston, TX

FINDS (Focus, Investigate, Note and Evaluate, Develop and Score) is the statewide research process model that is being implemented
in conjunction with the revised Reading and Language Arts Sunshine State Standards that include an information literacy component.
Library Media Services at both the state and district levels will be involved in the implementaiton of the new standards.
Nancy Teger, DOE, Tallahassee, FL

Reading Across Broward, the Superintendent's reading motivation program, celebrated its 20th anniversary during the 2005-06 school year with a day-long celebratory Party in the Park for Broward residents. This was followed by monthly activities throughout the year. RAB has grown from 13,284 participants in 1985 to 60,264 in 2005.
Simone Primus, Broward, FL

Broward Teen Readers' Choice Award was initiated by the Broward County Association of Media Specialists and Reading Across Broward in the Fall of 2003 for students in grades 9-12. During the program's second year, Broward County was able to get the Florida Association for Media in Education to adopt the program which became the Florida Teens Read program.
Simone Primus, Broward, FL

Promotion of reading programs is a real strength in the Anchorage School District. The Battle of the Books program and Young Readers choice book selection program for children and young people are both popular with children and young adults.
Ruth Jean Shaw, Anchorage, Alaska

Utilizing videoconferencing distance education to provide reading collaboration between elementary 1st Grade students and middle school 7th grade students.
Brenda Gonzalez, Columbus, OH

Have a kids web page filled with activities that they can do.
Jefferson County, KY

...and to STAFF MEMBERS when you are marketing new products or services internally

Time is of the essence at faculty meetings or after-school trainings. Create 'how to' snippets that teachers and library media specialists can look at when they are trying to navigate in unfamiliar territory or use software new to them. See some examples at
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach County, FL

Supportive school library and school librarian language in state Department of Education codes and local contracts

posted by Carol W. Heinsdorf, 2/2010
Information provided by SLM Supervisors on this CGCS network.

14. A school system shall employ a full-time media specialist for each base-size or larger school.
(i) A school system shall provide no less than half-time services of a media specialist for each school less than base size and shall provide adult supervision in the media center for the entire instructional day.
Code: CGB
(a) Base-size school - a school that has a minimum unweighted FTE count as follows:
Grades K-5 450
Grades 6-8 624
Grades 9-12 970
(b) Base-size school system - a school system with a minimum unweighted FTE count of 3, 300.

“511 IAC 6.1-5-6 Media program
Authority: IC 20-19-2-8; IC 20-31-4-17
Affected: IC 20-31-4-1
Sec. 6. All schools shall have a media program that is an integral part of the educational program. A licensed media specialist shall supervise the media program. Each school shall spend at least eight dollars ($8) per student per year from its 22200 account to maintain its media program.
(Indiana State Board of Education; 511 IAC 6.1-5-6; filed Jan 9, 1989, 11:00 a.m.: 12 IR 1192;readopted filed Oct 12, 2001, 12:55 p.m.: 25 IR 937; readopted filed Nov 20, 2007, 11:36 a.m.: 20071219-IR-511070386RFA)”


School Laws:
158.102 Requirement for library media center – Employment of librarian.
(1) The board of education for each local school district shall establish and maintain a library media center in every elementary and secondary school to promote information literacy and technology in the curriculum, and to facilitate teaching, student achievement, and lifelong learning.
(2) (a) Schools shall employ a school media librarian to organize, equip, and manage the operations of the school media library. The school media librarian shall hold the appropriate certificate of legal qualifications in accordance with KRS 161.020 and 161.030. A certified school media librarian may be employed to serve two (2) or more schools in a school district with the consent of the school councils.
(b) If a vacancy occurs, the school council may fill the vacancy on a temporary basis by employing:
1. A person who is pursuing certification as a school media librarian in accordance with administrative regulations
promulgated by the Education Professional Standards Board; or
2. A temporary employee for a period not to exceed sixty
(60) days.
(Enact. Acts 2000, ch. 339, 1, effective July 14, 2000.)


Maryland Comar [Code of Maryland Regulations] states:
Maryland COMAR
13A.05.04.01 .01 Public School Library Programs.
A. Each local school system shall establish in each school a unified school library media program for the use of all students which shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) An organized and centrally managed collection of instructional materials and technologies;
(2) Instruction emphasizing information literacy skills integrated into all content areas;
(3) Appropriate materials and technologies to support the instructional programs of the local school systems; and
(4) Certified school library media personnel and support staff.
Also the Baltimore City Teachers Union contract states that all schools will have a certified librarian.

School District of Philadelphia Library Power Study 1998

A study conducted by School District of Philadelphia statisticians in 1998 regarding the Library Power model, adjusted for poverty. It is the only study I know of to make that adjustment. Of course, the students involved did better than expected!
The report in its entirety can be found at the URL at the end of these quotes.
Carol W. Heinsdorf, M.S.L.S.
Association of Philadelphia School Librarians (APSL)
Impact on Student Achievement
As Measured By The Stanford Achievement Test, 9th Edition
Report Prepared By
Robert M. Offenberg
Research Associate
Thomas J. Clark
Research and Evaluation
[School District of Philadelphia, 1998]
"To achieve the Library Power goals, the initiative has a specific set of strategies:
• to redesign and refurbish the library;
• to update book and software collections;
• to implement flexible scheduling and independent checkout;
• to establish collaborative planning between librarians and teachers;
• to provide extensive professional development opportunities for librarians, teachers, and administrators; and
• to encourage the creation of partnerships among schools, public libraries, community agencies, academic institutions, and parent groups."
"Another interesting finding involved the third grade multiple choice analysis, in which there was a significant interaction between poverty level and difference from the expected achievement level for the Library Power schools; student[s] in higher poverty Library Power schools scored higher than expected while students in low poverty schools scored lower than expected. This finding suggests that when mature, Library Power may provide the most benefit for children in high poverty schools."


Participant Facilitator: Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach, FL

Wiki Facilitator: Jim Hundemer, Houston, TX

Group Members

Grace Bridgeford, Kansas City, MO
Michael Eisenstein, Thomson Gale
Philecia Harris, Washington, DC
Carol Heinsdorf, Philadelphia, PA
Jim Hundemer, Houston, TX
Janeen Pelser, Palm Beach, FL
Lisa Spicko, Thomson Gale

Action Steps

Person Responsible

Solicit ideas
Philecia Harris, DC Grace Bridgeford, Kansas