Activism and the School Librarian

Tools for Advocacy and Survival

by Deborah D. Levitov, Editor


In a time when school budgets are being trimmed and library positions are being eliminated, the ability to attract funding and illustrate value is essential. Today's school librarians need to champion their programs and instigate positive change, yet many lack the necessary advocacy skills.

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Cover image for Activism and the School Librarian

June 2012

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 123
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Librarianship: Philosophy, Values, and Issues/Advocacy and Lobbying

This book provides practical strategies and step-by-step plans for developing advocacy initiatives for school libraries.

School libraries provide an essential service to the community, but without proper funding few libraries stand a chance to maintain the resources they offer—or to survive at all. School librarians can play an instrumental role in the survival of their programs. This how-to book provides school librarians with effective advocacy and activism strategies for promoting and improving their library programs.

Activism and the School Librarian: Tools for Advocacy and Survival offers straightforward, practical approaches for creating advocacy programs. This guidebook examines the characteristics for becoming an advocate, explores the meaning of advocacy/activism as an effort that is ongoing and proactive, and provides the steps required for initiating a successful program. The contributors address the various types of advocacy and activism, including legislative advocacy at the local, state, and national levels; school and district level programs; and community-based initiatives. The book includes expert advice from successful advocates and provides helpful reproducible tools.


  • Practical advice from expert advocates
  • Step-by-step guidance for developing an advocacy program
  • A comprehensive glossary of terms
  • An examination of the proactive role of school librarians in successful advocacy initiatives


  • Covers various types of advocacy, including legislative, school-based, and community-driven strategies
  • Includes helpful reproducible tools
  • Reveals personal characteristics of successful advocates
  • Contains resource lists for additional reading
Author Info

Deborah D. Levitov, PhD, is managing editor of School Library Monthly and editor of Libraries Unlimited's Guide for Developing and Evaluating School Library Programs. She has a K–6 teaching degree and a master's degree in educational administration with a school library certification. Levitov received her doctorate, which focused on advocacy for school libraries, from the University of Missouri at Columbia from the School of Information and Learning Technologies.



"The book is full of helpful, authentic tips and information imperative to the job security of school media specialists. . . . This is an absolute necessity for every school librarian. . . . Highly Recommended."Library Media Connection

"Based on research, experience, and actual implementation of award-winning programs, this book offers solid information to guide school librarians in one of their most valuable roles, that of the advocate. Seven engaging and informative chapters, all written by various successful practitioners, offer solid suggestions. . . . An extensive index concludes this valuable resource."School Library Journal

"Levitov provides solid advice for those not already in the trenches advocating for school libraries."Booklist Online

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