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Seeking Your Feedback

All-
Some of you may have read the well-written editorial recently published by Washington State Teacher of the Year, who is a school librarian.  If not, I urge you to take a moment to ready it.

If things shake out like they normally do, this will get shared amongst school librarians and we will echo his sentiments, but more than likely, we end up sharing these sentiments with our peers. My question to you all is this. How can we share what’s in this article with NON-librarians? Any thoughts? If so, post your comments and/or share with me.  I’d love to hear from you. 
Becky Russell
Russell_b@cde.state.co.us

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to mark-up (vote on) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) beginning on Wednesday, October 19.  As of now, Senator Murray (D-WA) has done a good job including libraries into the legislation; however there are still areas where there needs to be more.  There is an amendment that will be introduced during the mark-up by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) that will further address school libraries’ role in education.
Senator Michael Bennet sits on the Senate HELP committee and will be voting on this amendment when it is introduced.  Please call Senator Bennet today at 202-224-3121 and ask him to support the Whitehouse/Murray amendment on school libraries.
This legislation, if passed, will impact education policy in this country for years to come, so it is critically important that we make sure libraries are included in this bill.

Great snapshot of S/L to promo to non-librarians.

Here at CDE, we get daily educational newslinks/summaries from across the state. I was so pumped when I came across this headline: “Two GJ librarians share Colorado Librarian of the Year honor: Becky Johnson & Jimmy Thomas.” Read the entire short article at this link:
http://www.gjfreepress.com/article/20111007/COMMUNITY_NEWS/111009968/1001&parentprofile=1059

Spread the word, and look for soundbites from her article that you can share with NON-librarians to re-shape their perception of what we can REALLY do . . .whenever and wherever you can.   And, HOORAY for Becky Johnson . . . way to go!!

Please Contact Bennet and Udall in support of the SKILLS Act

Please take action today!

The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act is a bill introduced in the Senate that would ensure that students everywhere have access to a quality school library program.

Here’s how you can help move this piece of legislation forward:

  1. Go the ALA Legislative Action Center by clicking here:  SKILLS
  2. Type in your zip code to find the phone numbers for your senators’ offices. (You can also be connected to your senators’ offices by calling the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.)
  3. Call both senators and ask them to co-sponsor the SKILL Act using the provided talking points and your own stories about why school libraries are so important.
  4. Fill out the feedback card or email twegner@alawash.org to share what you heard from your senators’ office.

Please pass this message along to your colleagues, library supporters and other constituents to ensure the SKILLs Act continues moving forward.

American Jobs Act and School Librarians – Let’s Be Heard!

Less than a week after President Obama called on Congress to pass a new jobs creation bill, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced the American Jobs Act (AJA) of 2011 (S. 1549).
This Senate version of the jobs bill includes $30 billion for K-12 education to retain or rehire educators including school librarians to prevent the layoffs of up to 280,000 educators including many school librarians.  Since school librarians across the country are losing their jobs due to budget cuts, it is critically important that as much of this money as possible be used to save their jobs.
The ALA asks all members to call their two senators and congressional representative at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support the AJA.   Tell your elected officials about what school libraries do in your community and how obtaining funds for construction through the AJA could improve the education of our students.  To find your senator click here (http://capwiz.com/ala/home/) and use the “Find Your Officials” box on the right hand side.
The AJA also includes an additional $25 billion to maintain and upgrade K-12 schools including school libraries to meet their 21st century demands and $5 billion for community colleges including their libraries.
Please call your elected officials in Congress today!
A chart outlining the estimated jobs impact by state can be viewed here .

 

In Lean Times, Schools Squeeze Out Librarians

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/nyregion/schools-eliminating-librarians-as-budgets-shrink.html?pagewanted=1&hp

Here is a frightening, but must-read article in the New York Times about schools in New York and across the nation, who are choosing to eliminate school librarians in lieu of other teachers or programs.   Just another indication of how we must continue to advocate, promote and “sell” ourselves.   Clearly these schools do  not understand the value of a school librarian and his/her influence on critical thinking, test score improvement, analyzing information or digital citizenship.

Susan Gilbert

Teacher Librarian, Westminster High School

 

School Libraries Need Your Help

Dear school librarians and school library supporters:

Colorado Community–Please read below.  I urge you to sign up for these e-mail updates that are SO important for future support of our profession.

The ALA Washington Office pursues every possible opportunity to increase Congressional support for school libraries.

Currently, the ALA is working to boost support for Senator Jack Reed?s upcoming reintroduction of a new Strengthening Kids? Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act.

Though the bill text has not yet been finalized, Sen. Reed continues to be our strongest ally on Capitol Hill, and strong bipartisan support for the SKILLS Act will increase the likelihood of securing provisions for school libraries in future education legislation.

In the coming months, the ALA Washington Office will need your advocacy as well as support from your community.

Please send your email address to Jessica Schneider at jschneider@alawash.org and be on alert for calls to action from our office throughout the summer.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Emily Sheketoff

Executive Director of ALA?s Washington Office