The American Library Association has kicked off the “Save School Libraries” Valentine Campaign! The purpose of this campaign is to encourage federal legislators to include the SKILLs Act(Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries) as part of the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act(NCLB).
The American Library Association says, “This is the single most important piece of legislation concerning school libraries that will come before Congress this year. Reauthorizationof this bill is critical to the future of school libraries.” In order for the SKILLs Act to be included in NCLB—that is, to place a state certified school library media specialist in every school–each member of Congress must co-sponsor the SKILLs Act. To see which representatives have agreed to co-sponsor this legislation, you can visit this link to Senate Bill 1699.
Now is your chance to send a “I Love My School Librarian” Valentine card to your U.S. Senators and to ask them to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act! For contact information for Georgia’s U.S. Senators, you can visit these links. ALA asks that you send your “I love my librarian” Valentines to the local offices.
Senator Saxby Chambliss
100 Galleria Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
One Overton Park, Suite 970
3625 Cumberland Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30339
Why does it matter that each state fund at least one full time state certified media specialist? Check out these facts:
Research shows that students in schools staffed with libraries staffed by a certified media specialist learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without certified media specialists.
School library media specialists provide students the research skills they need when they go on to higher education.
School libraries no longer are just for books. Instead, school libraries are now sophisticated 21st century learning environments that employ the latest technologies to ensure students have access to learning tools for success.
Only 60 percent of our school libraries in the United States have a full time and state certified school library media specialist on staff.
With limited funding and the increased focus on school performance under NCLB, administrators are trying to stretch dollars and are forced to sometimes cuts funds across various programs; school library media specialists, along with fine arts teachers, are often the first to be cut.
Thank you for your support of America’s school libraries!