Political Advocacy for School Librarians
Leveraging Your Influence
by Ann Dutton Ewbank
January 2019, 120pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-6388-2
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6389-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Pick up this book to learn how to advocate for effective school library programs.

School librarians are prepared to be leaders and can use their strengths to advocate for policy that benefits school libraries. This book will teach you how to engage elected officials to effect change that extends to your library.

Education and information policy has a direct impact on school libraries and is shaped by decisions at the local, state, and federal levels. School librarians are positioned uniquely to leverage their inside knowledge of effective school library programs to make a difference in education through civic engagement; however, a thorough understanding of both the explicit and “hidden” rules of government is necessary to be an effective advocate.

This compact book serves as a guide to advocating for effective programs, filling a gap in the practitioner literature regarding the policies that affect school library programs. Drawing on research-based best practices and the author’s experience as the chairman of the ALA Legislation Committee and in political advocacy, this book explains the political process through concrete examples of both success and failure and analyzes these examples to show how librarians can move education policy in a positive direction.


  • Realize how to use your strengths as a librarian to influence issues that matters to you, even if you consider yourself apolitical
  • Discover the “hidden rules” of representative democracy
  • Learn strategies to leverage your institutional knowledge to advocate for effective school libraries at all levels of government
Ann Dutton Ewbank is associate professor at Montana State University, Bozeman. She researches school library advocacy and is a member-leader in the American Library Association. A tireless advocate, Ewbank has direct experience working with elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels to enact positive policy for school library programs.


"Students in school librarianship and practicing librarians—novices and veterans—will find support and inspiration in this highly readable book...Highly Recommended." —Arizona Library Association, May 9, 2019

"...the background information is useful for librarians."—Booklist, January 1, 2019

“Political behavior is about building relationships in order to persuade people to support your desired outcome” (28). In Political Advocacy for School Librarians: Leveraging Your Influence, Dr. Ann Ewbank offers information, case studies, and advice for library leaders who have embraced local, state, and/or federal advocacy as an everyday behavior of effective librarianship. Students in school librarianship and practicing librarians—novices and veterans—will find support and inspiration in this highly readable book. Each chapter includes questions to extend learning. As Ann writes, “school librarians are an integral part of the library ecosystem” and as in all systems, “when one part suffers, the entire ecosystem is in jeopardy” (95). Use this book to guide your advocacy work. Form coalitions with others who have common interests and leverage your influence. Then use your power to achieve your goals for the students, educators, families, and learning community you serve. Highly Recommended. —Judi Moreillon, M.L.S., PhD. Literacies and Libraries Consultant Co-Chair, Teacher Librarian Division, Arizona Library Association
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