School Librarians Petition

Across the country teacher librarians and libraries have been cut to the detriment of the students and the communities.

Across the country teacher librarians and libraries have been cut to the detriment of the students and the communities.

In fact, when some school librarians are cut, the students rally to fight back and have their beloved librarian reinstated. But this is not just youth fighting for libraries. In some communities it’s a Council of Elders, that have taken the initiative to create a petition demanding that thousands of middle- and high-school students have certified school librarians assigned to their schools by the time school starts in the fall. These students and elders shouldn’t have to fight alone and in fact, now they have the law on their side and it’s time for us to get behind them as well.

With passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), school library programs and school librarian positions are part of federal education policy and law and it’s now time to start taking action for school librarians and start funding school libraries. The first step in this action, is identifying supporters and educating officials about these new provisions in ESSA and that is why we created a petition to ask Local Education Agencies and governments to implement the standards for ESSA that include provisions for school librarians.

There is new ‘authorizing language’ in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that restores these programs and positions in several Titles after being absent from No Child Left Behind for more than a decade. There are many states that lack complementary definitions in state statute about school libraries and librarians, as well as many states and Local Education Agencies (LEA) that have not been in the habit of funding programs or positions because there was no compelling reason in the law to do so.  We, the library community, now have a new chance to enact real reforms to state budgets and to the policies of LEAs to include funding for collections that support the curriculum and positions that are qualified to be partners in student achievement.

Sign the Petition Today

Please sign the petition today and ask your friends and family to sign it as well. The more identified supporters we have across the country, the more power we have as a profession to take a stand and take action for libraries.

More Information
Our colleagues at the ALA Washington Office and AASL have issued their ESSA implementation ‘guidance’ on how library organizations can start to work at the state and local level to realize the changes in the law.  It is a great resource.  It is strategic and tactical.  Even states what have a good set of statutes about school libraries and librarians should review it for the new provisions.  We are very thankful to ALAWO and AASL for putting out this comprehensive guidance so quickly.

-Patrick "PC" Sweeney- EveryLibrary Political Director