Treat the Fight for School Libraries Like the Political Campaign It Is
We would like to suggest that it’s time that school librarians move past the current advocacy tool kit and engage the future of their profession like the campaign it truly is.
In October, Publishers Weekly invited our Executive Director John Chrastka to write an editorial called "School Librarians Must Treat the Fight for Their Future Like the Political Campaign It Is" to help bring a different and, perhaps, more tactical focus on this issue.
School librarians are at an important point of inflection right now. During the depths of the first wave of COVID shutdowns, we saw administrators and principals use the disruptions as an excuse to cut positions. In the second wave, many of our colleagues were reassigned from their libraries to teach a second-credentialed class or support other pandemic-impacted learning. With the American Rescue Plan stabilizing funding for education along with wide returns to in-school learning, it’s vitally important for school librarians to reengage not only students and their families but also the future of their positions and programs. After so much uncertainty, the 2021-22 school year is a critical time for us to focus on the future of the profession. We have to engage what is now a nearly-generational problem of cuts to positions, deprofessionalization of the work and drift toward classroom libraries with a new and more effective approach or we stand to lose the remnant of school librarians left in our country.
The full article is available for free on Publishers Weekly. It's part of their ongoing commitment to discuss issues impacting the future of school library programs and the people who work there. If you're interested in supporting school librarians beyond the headlines, please visit SaveSchoolLibrarians.org and take action today.