Last month I was tasked with creating two Powerpoints on early literacy to present to key stakeholders in our community. One was presented to a local governing board, and was given by the Director of the cooperative, the Outreach and Training Manager, and myself.
I was pretty excited about this challenge after my first year on the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Collaboration with Chair Jenna Nemec-Loise of Everyday Advocacy fame. I approached this with “sound bites they can use” in mind. I also thought about what was “in it for them” as far as early literacy was concerned. An additional opportunity was that, while many of the attendees had been presented with a “libraries and early literacy” talk before, it had been nine years. They needed a refresher, and we had a lot of updates for them—in service and research!
When thinking about “what’s in it for them”, here are a few implied benefits I threaded through the presentation:
1. You, the governing body, are an educated group.
2. Early literacy creates educated people who will vote fellow educated people into office.
3. Early literacy in libraries will keep you or people like you in office.
4. Profit. (Did you know the return on investment for a community with an early literacy focus is upwards of 16%??? okay maybe you did but your local elected officials probably need that info ASAP).
With that in mind, here are a few sound bites you can use in a future presentation to your governing body: