Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Value-based language to promote library benefits

At Special Needs and Inclusive Library Services (SNAILS), guest author Cate Loveday addresses the benefit of using “value-based language” when talking about the services that libraries provide.

(Loveday credits a presentation by Jenna Nemec-Loise during ALA Midwinter Meeting. Nemec-Loise is affiliated with Everyday Advocacy, an initiative of the Association for Library Service to Children.)

“The idea around VBL is that it shifts the focus away from the program and puts emphasis on the benefits our population receives.”

With value-based language, library workers can briefly, quickly and specifically address what they do and why it is important. For example, using value-based language, Loveday might say: “I help children of all abilities to explore stories and literacy in a way that is both appropriate and stimulating to their sensory needs so that the library becomes a more inviting place for all families.”

This approach, according to Lovejoy, is more specific and gives far more detail than merely saying, “I lead Sensory Storytimes for children with special needs.”

Loveday emphasizes VBL for promoting services to special-needs populations, but I think this idea is adaptable across multiple areas for advocacy when highlighting the importance of libraries.

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