[Libs-Or] Why All Librarians Should be Vocal Advocates

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 17:31:58 PDT 2012


Why All Librarians Should be Vocal Advocates
Posted on July 18,
by Sheketoff <http://www.districtdispatch.org/author/sheketoff/> |
[image: Nancy Pelosi]

Photo by Talk Radio News Service

Today, I had the opportunity to attend "Women 2020: How Women Are Reshaping
the Economy, Politics and the World," an event hosted by the National
Journal magazine focused on bringing influential women in Washington
together to discuss the evolving role of women in the economy, policy and

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi headlined the event, and several
women leaders spoke at the event, including Anu Bhagwati from the Service
Women's Action Network, Margaret Ann Hamburg from the Food and Drug
Administration, and Rand Construction CEO Linda Rabbitt.

At one point during the event, Pelosi told the audience about the weekly
Tuesday dinners that she would have with several Democratic Members of
Congress, including Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Barbara Kennelly. At these
dinners, they would meet to talk about different issues (with the men at
the table dominating the conversation), she said. On one particular
evening, all of the men discussed the days that their children were born.
Pelosi mentioned that at no point during the conversation did the men at
the table ask the women--who had given birth to ten children between
them--about their personal experiences giving birth.

While Pelosi shared the story to encourage women in the audience to speak
up for themselves and to share their own experiences without being
prompted, I found that the core message of her advice should be known by
all librarians: Don't wait to be empowered, don't wait for someone to ask
you about your own experiences. We need to speak up when policymakers
discuss issues that we know and care about, be it education, literacy or

In her interview with the District
school library veteran Sara Kelly Johns said that all librarians should
have their own elevator speeches, saying, "Every librarian needs a
message--it needs to be on the tip of your tongue, and it needs to be
deliberate and continuous." I am encouraging all librarians to empower
themselves today by speaking up for libraries when opportunities arise and
being prepared at all times to promote their passion.

Emily Sheketoff
Executive Director, ALA Washington Office

*Diedre Conkling**
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude."--Maya Angelou
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