The future of school library programs and school librarians are central to our mission and work. Our SaveSchoolLibrarians.org site provides two kinds of supports for school library budgets and school librarian positions. When a crisis hits, the core of our advocacy and activism work is at the school-district level. We support school librarians at the local level by activating parents and other local stakeholders for funding and jobs. At the state level, we are in coalitions with state school library organizations to focus on the policy, revenue, and legislative agendas that determine the framework for education that includes libraries and librarians.
We engage with people every day from all across the country about the importance of having school librarians staff the largest classroom of the school: its library. Tens of thousands of Americans have signed up via SaveSchoolLibrarians.org to take direct actions specifically for school libraries. This list of dedicated, reachable advocates is unique in the school library advocacy ecosystem. We are thankful to Follett Learning for being the lead sponsor of this initiative. Without their support, EveryLibrary could not put these advocacy petitions in front of local parents and stakeholders.
A critical component of our SaveSchoolLibraians.org digital advocacy is our ability to engage in crisis response for school librarians. Often times, no one inside the school library is aware that cuts are coming until the crisis hits. And then, the turn-around time is always short. It is a symptom of how many school boards and superintendents behave. Because of the support we get from our donors, we are able to quickly and effectively engage at the local level and can turn around the problem. It takes bravery for people under threat of their jobs to speak up for themselves. It is important for us to honor that and step up for them when asked.
“Our partnership with EveryLibrary was incredibly useful and important for the members of our network of school librarians around the world. In a time when many school librarians are facing crisis, EveryLibrary's trainings provided the tools, information, and resources to address these challenges head-on. We are ever grateful for their commitment and dedication to school librarianship. The ISTE Librarians Network is proud to have co-sponsored the "From Advocacy to Activism" webinars with EveryLibrary."
- Heather Lister, ISTE Librarians Network 2019 President
Education Funding-Focused Coalitions
EveryLibrary is excited to be a part of the Future Ready Librarian coalition to focus our supports on systemic changes. We continue to work closely with state association partners and the ISTE Librarians Network on advocacy, trainings, and coalition building. We believe that a key strategy for fixing funding problems for school libraries is to bring school librarians to coalitions that are outside the library world.
Another critical area for school library programs is state ballot measures that, if passed, would improve funding for education (and school library programs) in their states. Our focus on new revenue for education is not common in library advocacy settings because it requires school library stakeholders to join broad-based coalitions outside of libraries. It also places library organizations alongside educational unions and political action committees. As the first and only national political action committee for libraries, EveryLibrary is comfortable in this role. EveryLibrary helps our colleagues from state school library organizations to operationalize voter-facing outreach campaigns with training, coaching, support, and guidance.
SaveSchoolLibrarians.org continues to support school librarians in crisis as the only advocacy platform that engages parents and the public about school library budgets and school librarians. We want to thank Follett Learning for their leadership and donor support for SaveSchoolLibrarians.org and our school library-focused policy work. Their ongoing commitment enables and empowers us to continue this high-impact and measurable advocacy work.