Friday, October 28, 2011

ALA Needs to Know the State of School Libraries to Help Sway Congress

On October 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee completed their mark-up (vote on) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA was passed by the committee but a key amendment supporting school libraries was withdrawn due to lack of support.

Now we ask for your help in gathering support for school libraries by sharing stories with the Washington Office about outrageously out of date school library materials and the consequences of under-funded school library programs. These stories will help influence members of the Senate if a school libraries amendment is re-introduced to ESEA on the Senate floor (which will likely happen).

These are the types of stories we are looking for:

  • Out of date school library materials, books or otherwise, (i.e. books referring to the USSR in the present tense)
  • Stories about under-staffed school libraries, or school libraries with no staff
  • Specific consequences from the lack of funding for a school library program
Twenty years ago, we asked for stories like these and they were powerful enough to gain us a strong library advocate in Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). Now, Sen. Reed wants to know the state of school libraries to help sway his colleagues much like he was 20 years ago. Time is running out to get school libraries into ESEA; your stories can make a difference.

Please email your stories to the ALA Washington Office by writing Ted Wegner ( and Jeff Kratz (

Ted Wegner
Grassroots Coordinator
American Library Association
Washington Office-Office of Government Relations
1615 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20009-2520
Phone: 202-628-8410
Fax: 202-628-8419

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