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I agree with Jill on this one!  The first line of "attack" is
educating the misinformed!!

Attend your school board meetings and ask for a brief amount of time
with specific members---you can ask to meet with them individually
before or after the meeting, rather than speaking before them at the
meeting or to them as a group.  Tell them that you would like to
provide them with some information about what the librarians are doing
in your district (or what you are doing in your school, if you're a
smaller district or individual school).

Invite your local board members to one of your library
presentations---especially one where you are showcasing things that
you would show to parents.  Tell them about the funding that THEY
helped to provide for the online databases and that you'd like to show
them how it works.  Show them the online databases, the resources
available in print, how to access information from the library at
home, ways the librarian CAN help reduce the stress of homework
assignments, etc.

Ask your school board members to sit in on your classroom (or
district) presentations on how to evaluate online sources (like
websites) and why using reputable sources like subscription databases
are the best avenue toward research.

If you can't get a school board member to attend, video tape your
presentations and share them with your school board members....provide
a podcast from your website and then send a link to each of your
school board members showcasing what you're doing in the library.

The BEST time to "capture" these individuals is during the time when
things are NOT as hectic (summer months are busy with rehiring,
budgets, etc. BUT they are also a time to show what you've been doing
in your library all year).  It's also great to remember those
"re-elections"..... when school board members need support from
everyone and they need voters to see them out and about.  Invite those
who are running for office to attend an Open House or school-sponsored
activity to see what you're doing in the library---while you're
sharing the same information with parents!

It's all about those stakeholders in your community!  Who can support
you the most while YOU support the program?  Showcase what you're
doing and draw-in those stakeholders (parents, community members,
etc.) ....then remind the school board members of those who will be in
attendance and why THEIR involvement would be SO beneficial to the
school district's program!!


Shonda Brisco, MLIS
Library Media / Technology Specialist
Digital Bookends wiki / blog:

"Digital Resources" columnist
School Library Journal

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