Sunday, May 6, 2012

BCTLA Advocacy Announcements

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that BCTLA will be part of a research study with Dr. Ann Dutton Ewbank (Arizona State University).  The project, "The Role of Teacher Unions in School Library Advocacy: A Case Study of the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians' Association and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation", was selected as a 2012 recipient of the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Research Grant.  

From the AASL release: the research on BCTLA and BCTF, "will investigate the unique relationship between the two organizations and how they work together to advocate for strong school library programs in the Canadian province.  To meet the project’s research goals, Ewbank, the assistant division director for graduate programs in Arizona State University’s teachers college, will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, to interview association and federation board members and also review their association governance documents.  From this material, she will explore what impact the association’s combined advocacy efforts have made in the province.

'Ann Dutton Ewbank’s proposal is unique,' said Ann Marie Pipkin, award committee chair. 'She is looking through a different lens and researching from an original perspective the interactions needed to create strong school library programs.  This research has the potential to serve as a model for future school library advocacy.  A great deal of work was done beforehand to allow for the success of the project'."

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In addition, BCTLA is also honoured to have been invited to join a Joint Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions School Libraries and Resource Centres section (IFLA SLRC) and the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL). The Joint Committee will undertake a two-year project to develop a module of training materials for school library advocacy titled "School Libraries on the Agenda: School Library Advocacy".

Along with BCTLA Vice-President, Advocacy Jeff Yasinchuk, other members of the Joint Committee include: Dianne Oberg (Canada), Randi Lundvall (Norway; Chair of IFLA SLRC), Diljit Singh (Malaysia, President of IASL), Lourense Das (Netherlands), Lesley Farmer (USA), Luisa Marquardt (Italy), and Barbara Schultz-Jones (USA).

Dr. Dianne Oberg writes that, "IASL and IFLA SLRC are uniting their efforts to develop school library advocacy materials that will contribute to IFLA's Building Stronger Library Associations initiative and to IFLA's Online Learning Platform. The project is designed to contribute to improving school libraries and to enhance the leadership skills of those involved in school library development in both of the two school library groups.  The online training materials will include topics such as association development, communication skills, professional development design, and collaboration and advocacy skills".

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The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is thankful for the opportunities to share our advocacy strategies and experience, and to improve our own school library and teacher-librarian advocacy program! 

For more information on some of BCTLA’s advocacy initiatives, see http://bctf.ca/bctla/pub/TLAdvocacyinBC.pdf.