Elevator speeches and Other Advocacy Tools for Vermont Librarians

Dear Vermont School Librarians,

If you are cut, please reach out through the VSLA listserv. Help is on the way!  You can also email our Advocacy Team:  




Meanwhile, line up parents and high school students to speak on your behalf to the school board and administration. Below are talking points and infographics that articulate the importance of our work.

These resources are from ALA’s Marci Merola and Megan Cusick. Contact Marci at mmerola@ala.org or Megan at mcusick@ala.org for assistance.

Here are some tools:

Create Your Elevator Speech

Samples from ALA

Elevator speeches linked to ESSA

Flow chart: To help you write your own elevator speech.

Elevator Speech Example:

Hi, I’m ________________________, your school librarian. Did you know that a recent Stanford University study found that students were not able to distinguish advertisements from news articles? School librarians are information literacy specialists and collaborate with teachers to ensure our Vermont students know how to find, evaluate and use information ethically. Please stop by the library and see our students’ work. I will send you an email ___________________ (when) with our library schedule. Thank you!

General Talking Points

  • Julie Beth Todaro of the ALA and Audrey Church of the AASL are deeply concerned about recent cuts to school librarian positions in Burlington. “More than 60 studies from across the nation provide clear and consistent evidence that student achievement is higher in schools with certified school librarians. … We urge you to reinstate these positions and fully staff (insert your town here) school libraries with certified school librarians.”

  • Vermont is committed to quality and equity in education (see AOE mission statement) -- your certified school librarian ensures there is no disparity in library services.

  • Donna Sullivan-Macdonald, president of the Vermont School Library Association and past president of the International Society for Technology in Education’s Librarians Network said, “Your librarians play a powerful role in school-wide curriculum integration. They are instructional and technology leaders. Especially in light of Future Ready Schools, (a new national initiative in which Vermont is participating) your students, faculty and staff NEED your teacher librarians. I hope you will reconsider the proposed cuts to teacher librarians in the ___________ system.

Vermont Academic Librarians’ Statement

  • Here is a link to a statement about the importance of school libraries from the college library directors of Vermont:

School Library Impact Studies

  • ALA  suggested we share this study with stakeholders. The study is particularly valuable because it wasn’t conducted by librarians.


Vermont’s Educational Quality Standards

  • EQS: Language that schools with 300 students or more must have full time certified teacher librarians. Schools with fewer than 300 students must provide a librarian pro rata.

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