Behind the Scenes: Local and State Advocacy Committee

“Behind the Scenes” the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Board approved a special committee: Local and State Advocacy Committee for a duration of two years (January 2019 – December 2020). The co-chairs, Deb Kachel, Legislative Liaison, and Cathi Fuhrman, President-Elect, will be seeking members for this committee.

Proposed by Cathi Fuhrman, President-Elect and Allison Mackley, President

Background: According to the PSLA Bylaws, special committees can be established by the president and approved by the board. The president acts as an ex-officio member, and the chair(s) are appointed by the president with board approval. The chair(s) are voting members of the PSLA Advisory Council.

Rationale: Although PSLA has approved the role of Legislative Liaison to work as a member of the Communications Committee, legislative efforts must extend beyond the work of one person.

  1. Chair(s)
    1. President-Elect (Board Liaison)
    2. Legislative Liaison
  2. Ex-officio
    1. President
  3. Committee Members
    1. Active members of the association
    2. Appointed by the chair(s) with the president
    3. Committed to PSLA legislative initiatives as recommended by the Local and State Advocacy Special Committee and approved of the board
  4. Duration of Committee Existence
    1. Two years (January 2019 – December 2020) with board approval to determine continued existence.
    2. Powers and Duties
      1. Alignment to PSLA Strategic Priorities
        1. Critical Issue: Association Relevance - Goal Three: Become a stronger voice for school librarians and the profession
        2. Critical Issue: Public Perception of School Libraries - Goal Two: Communicate, through toolkits and/or other methods, the impact of appropriately staffed school library programs on academic achievement to stakeholder groups (pre-service and practicing teachers, administrators, Board members, parents/guardians, community members, and legislators)
        3. Critical Issue: Integrated Advocacy - Goal One: Build positive relationships with legislators and public officials to gain support for school library programs and to communicate the critical impact of a certified school librarian in every school
      2. Duties
        1. At the direction of the PSLA President, target advocacy efforts towards specific legislation and local and state advocacy projects
        2. Build partnerships with PSLA affiliates, regional school library groups, educational associations, parent associations, or those organizations interested in school libraries
          1. Communicate legislative alerts and timely information to PSLA Members through the PSLA Communications Committee
          2. Chair(s) communicate regularly with Quantum Communications concerning advocacy
          3. Create advocacy toolkits and professional learning opportunities for PSLA members
          4. Curate the “Take Action” menu items on the PSLA website
        3. Product Development
          1. Administrator Advocacy Toolkit (curated and accessible on PSLA website)
          2. Legislator Advocacy Toolkit (curated and accessible on PSLA website)
          3. Legislative Alerts
        4. Reports
          1. Quarterly Reports filed with the President for board meetings (on the same schedule as standing committees)
          2. Annual Report shared with the membership and filed with the President (on the same schedule as standing committees)

Feel free to contact Deb or Cathi directly or through the PSLA Committee Interest Survey if you are interested in joining the Local and State Advocacy Committee.  I hope you join in with PSLA's advocacy efforts. The more passionate members we have who are willing to take action, the stronger our profession will become.

Ever Curious,

Allison Mackley
President, PSLA (PA School Librarians Association)
National Board Certified Teacher Librarian
Hershey High School
550 Homestead Road
Hershey, PA  17033


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