The following is a letter from ALA President Molly Raphael.
I hope that by now you have heard about AASL President Carl Harvey’s White House Petition on School Libraries. 25,000 signatures are needed by February 4, 2012, in order for this petition to reach the desk of the President. We are more than halfway there, but time is running out!
In addition to signing the petition, please take these steps to ensure that this petition is a success:
1. Spread the word and see that at least ten of your friends or family members also sign;
2. Work with local educational groups, including the local PTA or PTO, and ask them to mount a signing campaign;
3. Work with other community groups and ask them to get involved.
School libraries are everyone’s issue. Cuts in staffing or elimination of school library programs in a specific community affect all libraries in that community, whether it’s the public library now tasked with serving a school curriculum, or higher education librarians teaching remedial information literacy skills. In order for any of us to succeed, we must be willing to work on these issues together to support our broader library eco-system. Please get involved and help create awareness about the need to ensure that every student has access to an effective school library program.
Please note that the petition is a two-step process. You have to create an account, and then return to the web page to sign. We’ve heard reports that it’s also temperamental: if you have trouble signing, please try working in a different browser, or try in off-peak hours. It might not be easy but please be persistent! Our school library programs, and the children we serve, are so worth it.
Let’s show the world that we can mobilize people to speak out for libraries. Anyone 13 or older can sign the petition. Help us make this an issue that commands attention. Thank you in advance for your efforts.
2011 - 2012 ALA President