QSLiN 2019

The Strategic Librarian: Action Advocacy for the School Library Learning Commons

QSLiN Library Symposium: March 28, 2019, Pointe-Claire, Québec

In this era of unprecedented technological and social change, people’s perception of the library is shifting dramatically. A decade ago many questioned its very relevance. After all, who needed libraries when we had the Internet! But all along libraries have been reinventing themselves as hubs of creativity, collaboration and innovation, and realizing new purpose. Public libraries are active community hubs and university libraries are innovative learning centres. Where do school libraries fit into this picture? How do we capture the imagination of decision-makers and help them realize the potential of the school library? Leave this session feeling empowered to take action as we advocate for the unique value of the school library learning commons.

Find out more about the QSLiN Library Symposium



Anita’s Articles

Smashing the Nobody Understands Me Myth. Teaching Librarian (Winter 2018). Ontario School Library Association.

Aspirations and Opportunities: Advocacy for School Library Programs. Canadian Children’s Book News 38(3), Summer 2015. A publication of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

The Future Now: A Powerful Tool for Advancing the School Library Learning Commons in Canada
School Libraries in Canada, Volume 33, Issue 2 (2015)

From the President: Value, Influence, Positioning: Advocacy by a New Name
Open Shelf, Ontario Library Association (2014)

Action is Eloquence: Advocacy Advice for School Libraries. School Libraries in Canada Volume 30 Issue 1 (2012)

Anita’s Blog Posts

Library Day at Queen’s Park 2015 (November 26, 2015)
Ontario Needs Teacher-Librarians (March 15, 2015)
Library Day at Queen’s Park (November 27, 2014)
RSC Expert Panel: Recommendations for School Libraries (November 13, 2014)
Libraries Change Lives (April 21, 2014)
Leveraging Libraries for Ontario’s Education Future (September 30, 2013)
Getting the Message Right (January 12, 2013)
Imagine Your Library (August 17, 2012)
Super Conference Reflections: Leadership & Advocacy (February 11, 2012)
From Advocacy to Action (February 5, 2012, reposted from November 7, 2010)

Doug – Off the Record: An Interview with Anita Brooks Kirkland (April 16, 2015)

Additional Resources

American Association of School Librarians (AASL/ALA): Advocacy

American Libraries (2014). School Libraries Transform Learning. Note article by Barbara Stripling (p. 8) – Reimagining Advocacy for School Libraries: Creating a Strategy for Getting out Your Message

Association of Library Services for Children (ALSC/ALA): Everyday Advocacy

Australian School Library Association: Advocacy

Doug Johnson (2016). Blast From The Past (BFTP): 4 Rules of Library Advocacy

International Federation of Library Association (IFLA): School Library Advocacy Kit

Neil Gaiman (2013). Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming.

Ontario Library Association: School Library Advocacy


Agile Librarian's GuideMany Faces of School Library LeadershipActivism and the School LibrarianSchool Library Advocacy

Canadian School Libraries

Canadian School Libraries (CSL) is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to professional research and development in the field of the school library learning commons in Canada. CSL connects school library practitioners and educators across Canada in the collaborative pursuit of delivering exemplary practices reflective of current professional school library learning commons standards.

One starting point to essential resources for advancing the school library learning commons program.

Leading Learning

Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada provides a guide for the transition of school libraries to vibrant centres of teaching and learning responsive to the diverse needs of learners today and into the future. It also serves as a measurement tool to help schools determine where they are now with library facilities and programs and where they want to advance to.

L'Apprentissage en tête

L’Apprentissage en tête: Principes relatifs à la transition de la bibliothèque scolaire vers le carrefour d’apprentissage au Canada fournit des normes afin de guider la transformation des bibliothèques scolaires pour créer des centres d’apprentissage, d’innovation et de création de connaissances tournés vers l’avenir.

CSL Journal

Canadian School Libraries Journal

Canada’s only national journal dedicated to school library learning commons practice. Three online editions per year.


TMC Research Symposium & Think Tank

Collaboratively exploring ideas to build collective knowledge of the learning commons approach as sustainable school improvement.

CSL Research Archive

CSL Research Archive

ONE POINT OF ACCESS to scholarly and practitioner research about the school library learning commons.

Every child in Canada deserves an excellent school library.
Les apprenants ont le droit de s’attendre à une bibliothèque scolaire de qualité où qu’ils soient au Canada.

Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada

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Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèque (CFLA-FCAB)

The national voice of Canada’s library associations. / Le porte-parole national des associations de bibliothèque. Canadian School Libraries is a member association of CFLA-FCAB.

Imagine Your Library

Created in 2011. Have we moved forward since then? What would you include in an updated version?