Sara Kelly Johns joins our Advisory Committee
We are thrilled to announce that Sara Kelly Johns has joined our Advisory Committee to provide strategic and tactical advice around our school library initiatives.
Sara is joining the committee at a key time for us. Since our founding, we have promised to work on measures at the ballot for all types of libraries. The path forward with public libraries on the ballot is easy to see, define, and affect. For school libraries, we have been interested and vigilant, but the opportunities to affect local policy and funding have been few and far between. But now with the changes won by ALA and AASL to federal school law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that's changing.
Sara's experience and perspective on ways to influence local-level outcomes for funding school library programs and positions is unique. Her professional biography places her at a nexus of discussions that we believe are critical to the future of all types of libraries. From her bio:
Ms. Johns is a Past President of NYLA, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and the School Library Section of NYLA. She was an online instructor for Mansfield University’s School Library and Information Technologies and an adjunct professor for bibliographic instruction/information literacy for Plattsburgh (NY) State University Feinberg Library. Johns has been a trustee on the Plattsburgh Public Library Board of Trustees as well as member and president of the Saranac Lake Free Library Board of Trustees. She is a recent past member of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and is a current member of the ALA’s Executive Board, Council and Conference Committee.
EveryLibrary anticipates that implementing the changes allowed in ESSA for school librarians and school library programs will need to be done differently - in some states - than has ever been done before. In too many states and locations, there are not any school librarians left to seld-advocate. More significantly to us, there are mechanisms for changing laws and regulations via local and state-wide ballot measures that have never been explored for school library issues. We are grateful to Sara for her willingness to help us engage and inform the thinking and planning we need to undertake. If there is a path forward through the ballot box or through other effective negotiations to fully implement ESSA at the local level, we're excited to have her help finding it.