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Networking - Ideas for Networking within Your State



November 15, 1997

Thanks to the following contributors for sharing their ideas:
Patricia Austin, JoAnn Brewer, Manuel Darkatsh, Mary Jo Fresch, Shari Furtwangler, Joan Glazer, Marjorie R. Hancock, Rick Kerper, Catherine Kurkjian, Carolyn Leick, Judith Mitchell, Shelley Peterson, Patricia Scharer, Kaye West-Anderson, and Terrell Young

Ideas here revolve around four key ideas:

Maintain High Visibility
Self-consciously Network
Involve Others, Delegate Responsibility; Create New Venues
Share Information from Your State with IRA CL/R SIG

Maintain High Visibility

a. Post flyers and membership/subscription forms, etc. in hallways, bulletin boards (universities, public schools, public bulletin boards, kiosks)

b. Distribute flyers and membership/subscription forms to interested individuals
• in classes
• at workshops and in-services
• at conferences
• send to schools to post via student teacher supervisors
• Obtain literature from the IRA CL/R SIG Network Coordinator (e.g., flyers, membership forms, etc.) and distribute them

c. Share information at conferences (state conference, university conferences, literature award receptions, education conferences, library conferences)
• Put flyer/brochure in registration materials at conference -- perhaps a list to sign for anyone interested in networking
• Set up table at state conference
• Present a session dealing with the most recent Notable Books and including information about the Dragon Lode (Talk with Cathy Kurkjian, kurkjianc@ccsu.edu, about materials for several different kinds of sessions)

d. Talk about The Dragon Lode, Notable Books for a Global Society, Los Angeles 100 Best Books, a call for manuscripts, an outstanding article, our IRA session, our network, how to nominate a book for Global Books, etc. to interested parties
• teacher educators, supervisors of student teaching, children’s literature instructors
• local school teachers, administrators, curriculum specialists
• librarians, parents, legislators, people in departments of education
• individuals who teach ethnic studies, English teachers, history teachers, science teachers, arts people
• teachers of gifted students, Title I teachers, preschool teachers, people tutoring others to read (e.g., America
Reads Challenge), early intervention programs
• friends, relatives, bookstore owners, children’s authors, publishers, business people, people who are grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of young readers
• Show copies of The Dragon Lode to individuals interested in literature and reading

e. Encourage subscriptions to The Dragon Lode
• ask local university library to subscribe
• ask public/regional library to subscribe
• ask school libraries to subscribe
• encourage local districts to subscribe to The Dragon Lode for school media centers
• encourage PTA’s to subscribe to The Dragon Lode for their school
• give gift subscriptions to The Dragon Lode (students, colleagues, principals, teachers, IRA buddies, etc.)
• make a donation to the IRA CL/R SIG in exchange for a dozen extra copies of the forthcoming issue of The Dragon Lode (make such arrangement with the editor –– order a class set) so you have some copies on hand to give out to people

f. Distribute flyers describing some excellent children’s literature (which also includes information about the IRA CL/R SIG and how to subscribe to The Dragon Lode) and ask various merchants to reproduce it and display it prominently in their places of business (book stores, doctor’s offices, department stores, libraries, churches, etc.).

g. Solicit donations for the IRA CL/R SIG
• ask people who are concerned about the state of literacy to make a donation (any amount)
• ask people to donate money for subscriptions (e.g., for each school in a school district), etc.


Self-consciously Network

a. Use a List Serve and add interested persons to your list to send/forward email

b. Find individuals at other universities, e.g., those who teach children’s literature, to coordinate activities (such as author visits)
• Contact surrounding colleges and universities where children’s literature courses are taught and contact instructors of children’s literature

c. Find individuals at your local university (teacher educators, student teacher supervisors, librarians, people teaching remedial reading, people involved in the America Reads Challenge)
• Encourage colleagues (e.g., those teaching children’s literature) to express their needs, ways to get their students involved, and perhaps a way to meet )

d. Use the state IRA network (consult DeskTop Reference, published by IRA, or contact your state* IRA Coordinator or state* IRA president) (* or province / national)
• Share information with state board (state IRA Coordinator and state IRA officers, as well as officers of local councils) at state board meetings
• Find contacts in local councils (the IRA state coordinator contacts all councils several times annually)
• Share information with state IRA editor (journal and newsletter)
• Articles and/or public service announcements in the state IRA newsletter and state IRA journal (e.g., about the Notable Books for a Global Society, about how to nominate books, about how to get a reprint of the articles, about how to subscribe to The Dragon Lode, about our session at the annual IRA meeting, etc.)
• Send announcements to local reading councils

e. Make friends with folks in the media world, and use their networks (people in marketing at universities, newspapers, radios, television)

f. Find key individuals in other state and local organizations (librarians, social studies, science, gifted, early childhood, state Department of Education, special education groups,TAWL, NCTE, middle school, Teachers as Readers groups, PTA’s, home schooling, various ethnic-related groups, various tutoring sources, etc.)

g. Print our website URL<http://www.csulb.edu/org/childrens-lit> on your business cards

h. Encourage others to explore our website <http://www.csulb.edu/org/childrens-lit>


Involve Others:
Delegate Responsibility and Create New Venues

a. Host a Dragon Lode Browsing session where people can browse through books cited in the most recent Dragon Lode. (Talk with Pat Scharer, scharer.1@osu.edu, about such a session.)

b. Write and distribute a newsletter (including students’ reviews of new books, news of state events, conferences, workshops, etc.) -- perhaps via Internet (talk with Pat Austin, pjaci@uno.edu, about the newsletter she publishes)

c. Start an annual children’s literature conference

d. Enlist the assistance of retired individuals (including those in organizations such as retired teachers, people in retirement communities, consult the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) which has many local councils and a “volunteer” bank, people at churches, and people at local senior centers)

e. Start a local list serve for conversations about literature (students, colleagues, friends, etc.)

f. Put Notable Books for a Global Society and other SIG information on college and library information pages on the Internet

g. Develop a working group

h. Organize a state Special Interest Council (SIC) related to children’s literature. For how-to, click here.


Share Information from Your State with IRA CL/R SIG

a. Gather information regarding literature events by watching newspapers, flyers, meeting notices and submit to IRA CL/R SIG webmaster.

b. Solicit manuscript submissions and nominations for Notable Books for a Global Society

c. Share ideas you have used to network which have proved effective in your state

d. Share needs you have identified from others in the field (e.g., things they would find helpful in The Dragon Lode)

e. Share news of children’s literature conferences, festivals, author appearances, special programs dealing with children’s literature

f. Share news of the student-selected “young reader” awards in your state




©2002 IRA Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (IRA CL/R SIG).
All rights reserved. Website: http://www.csulb.edu/org/childrens-lit
Dr. Kaye West, Webmistress
Date modified: January 1, 2003. Feedback