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A Simple Win-Win Strategy 

Get Wrightslaw Best Sellers, Improve Your Local Library, Help Others 

A Vermont Mom writes:

I used to loan my books to other mothers. Sometimes this caused problems because I did not always get the books back. It was also hard to keep track of them. 

I devised a simple strategy to solve my problem, improve our local library, and help other parents who want to learn how to advocate for their children. 

Donating Books

When you buy books about special education, advocacy, disabilities, or law, donate them to your public library, then borrow them back to read. Let other parents know that the books are available - this creates demand. Libraries order books when there is demand. 

I donated six books to the town library that I learned about on your site. These books are not in most book stores. I had never heard of them before. They are excellent.

With these books and information from Wrightslaw and other organizations, we can go to an IEP meeting and present information from sources other than ourselves. 

The school doesn't value our opinions but if Barbara Bateman says so in her book, and she is backed up by Robert Mager in his book, then we have a chance to get something of value for our children. 

(Before you donate books, talk to the librarian. The library may ask you to make a donation so they can buy books from their own sources.) 

Creating Demand for Books

When librarians realize that there is demand, they will purchase specific books, or categories of books. 

Between orders and donations, we now have more than 20 books from the Wrightslaw Best Seller list in our library. 

After the books are in the library, get the word out so other parents know this information is in the library. This creates more demand. When the librarian sees demand, they are willing to order more books.

Helping Others 

When your library orders these books for parents, this does more than get books to people who already know about them. 

This strategy gets books into the library where they are found by parents who are just beginning to learn about special education advocacy - parents who are isolated and don't know that help is available for them. 

Using Inter-Library Loans

If your library doesn't have a specific book you want, ask the librarian to get it for you by inter-library loan. 

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Revised: 06/05/07

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