From ALA President Courtney Young
School Librarians Transform Learning
How do school librarians transform learning? As library professionals, we all know that school librarians are indispensable to education. We know that schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian give their students the best chance to succeed. We also know that the education today’s children receive at the school library level will affect their ability to use and benefit from public and academic libraries throughout their lives.
We truly are an “ecosystem,” and we all need to support strong school libraries. That is why the American Association of School Librarians is launching an awareness-campaign during the ALA Midwinter Meeting this month: to educate the whole of our profession -- and through them, the public -- about the importance of school librarians in the lives of children.
How do school librarians transform learning? Here are just a few ways:
• Schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian give their students the best chance to succeed.
• Certified school librarians make the whole school more effective. They teach students how to learn, and they help teachers drive student success.
• Students and teachers love, value, and use school libraries every day.
I am personally asking you to speak out about the value of school librarians in your communities. Everyone can be an advocate for school libraries!
Visit the School Libraries Make a Difference web resource on www.ilovelibraries.org for specific ways to get involved, including drafting a letter to the editor or writing an op-ed for a local publication. Letters to the editor and op-eds are an easy way to reach large numbers of community members. If you have never written one of these letters, or need tips along the way, I Love Libraries provides a comprehensive guide to writing and placing an op-ed piece at www.ilovelibraries.org/how-write-and-place-op-ed-piece.
We know that our children’s education and readiness for the workforce is in peril when school library budgets and school librarians are cut. You have a role in ensuring excellence for every student by demanding a school library with a certified school librarian in every school. Join us in speaking up for school libraries!
Courtney L. Young