Who We Are: Christie Kaaland, Deb Kachel, Deb Logan, Alice Yucht, and now Sara Kelly Johns formed this group at the AASL 2009 conference in Charlotte, NC, as a grassroots effort, unaffiliated with any professional organizations. We recognize that many state associations have their own advocacy initiatives in place. Our aim is to provide a simple process for anyone, anywhere to act on behalf of school libraries.

Our Vision: To ensure that every Pre K-12 student has access to a quality school library program and certified school librarian in order to develop 21st century learning skills that empower them as "critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information." [quoted part from Empowering Learners 8]


Primary goal:

  • federal legislation mandating a
  • fully-funded school library with a
  • full-time, state-certified school librarian in every K-12 public school,
  • because "students need school libraries."

Secondary goal:

  • Build a network of activists.
  • Identify and disseminate information about effective advocacy strategies.

Issues:

  1. state funding/mandates/requirements for
    -- a school library facility in each K-12 building, with
    -- a certified school librarian as the information skills teacher.
  2. equity of access for all students in school building.
  3. access to materials: intellectual freedom
  4. people not seeing activisim as effective

Needs:

  • list of legislative contacts for each state
  • list of / links to library advocacy efforts in each state
  • list of likely advocacy partners (non-library) in each state
  • talking points for different audiences
  • training/support resources to assist potential advocates

Talking Points:

  • The digital divide continues to widen between schools that have libraries and librarians and those that don't based on the wealth of communities
  • Children become good readers by reading. Without access to books in libraries, it won't happen.
  • Standards, regulations, and/or legislation are needed to make sure all students have access to school libraries and their programs of instruction and information services in the same way that schools are required to provide core content teachers, counseling services, physical education, or any other educational programs.
  • With the quick access to unvetted information, personal opinions, commercials, and misinformation on the Internet, students today need to be able to not only find, but determine reliability of the ideas and information they choose to use to make life choices.
  • Teachers teach subject content to meet stated academic standards; school librarians teach students about information--how to select, organize, and repurpose ideas to make new meaning--transferable skills that they use to learn about anything.

Our email: act4school.libraries@gmail.com