It’s School Library Month, and what better moment to advocate for school libraries than now? This message has been shared today (April 9, 2015) on several library and school library listservs. Check to see if your Senator is among the senators listed below, and call today! I did.
URGENT: If you support school libraries, NOW is the time (not later, not tomorrow, but RIGHT NOW) to contact your Senator to help save them. We won’t have a better chance than this for years.
The Senate HELP Committee will begin voting on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) on Tuesday, April 14 at 10 am. School libraries are NOT already included in that bill, so we need to pass an amendment to fix that. Even our paltry Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) funding has been cut. Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) has agreed to offer an amendment calling for an effective school library program to be part of the bill…..but he needs at least 13 votes to prevail in the Committee. Your Senator is on that Committee and we badly need them to be one of those 13. Unless you ask Your Senator for their vote, we won’t get it and NOW is the time….
Call your Senator right now. Ask whoever answers for the “education staffer.” Tell them, or their voice mail if necessary, how important school librarians are to students’ education and that the Senator needs to tell Senator Whitehouse NOW that they will support his “school library amendment” to ESEA.
PLEASE CALL NOW and get anybody else who cares about school libraries or education in your state to call as well.
If you are from the following states, you need to call this Senator NOW
Tennessee call Senator Alexander at 202-224-4944
Wyoming call Senator Enzi at 202-224-3432
North Carolina call Senator Burr at 202-224-3154
Georgia call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643
Kentucky call Senator Paul at 202-224-4343
Maine call Senator Collins at 202-224-2523
Alaska call Senator Murkowski at 202-244-6665
Illinois call Senator Kirk at 202-224-2854
South Carolina call Senator Scott at 202-224-6121
Utah call Senator Hatch at 202-224-5251
Kansas call Senator Roberts at 202-224-4774
Louisiana call Senator Cassidy at 202-224-5824
Washington call Senator Murray at 202-224-2621
Maryland call Senator Mikulski at 202-224-4654
Vermont call Senator Sanders at 202-224-5141
Pennsylvania call Senator Casey at 202-224-6324
Minnesota call Senator Franken at 202-224-5641
Colorado call Senator Bennet at 202-224-5852
Rhode Island call Senator Whitehouse at 202-224-2921
Wisconsin call Senator Baldwin at 202-224-5653
Connecticut call Senator Murphy at 202-244-4041
Massachusetts call Senator Warren at 202-224-4543
Point 1: While reading and books are mainstays of the school library program, today’s effective school library programs are also sophisticated learning environments that provide the education and necessary skills to succeed in college and the workplace.
Point 2: Across the United States, studies have demonstrated that students in schools with effective school library programs learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without such resources.
Point 3: NCES data reveals that approximately 8,830 public schools across the nation do not have a school library and for those schools that do have a library, nearly 17,000 schools do not have a full or part-time state-certified school librarian on staff.
Point 4: Effective school libraries:
1. Are staffed by a state-certified school librarian;
2. Have up-to-date books, materials, equipment and technology;
3. Include regular collaboration between classroom teachers and school librarians to assist with development and implementation of the curriculum; and
4. Support the development of digital literacy skills.