[library-media] FW: [aaslnews] ALAWON - URGENT

Paula Zsiray paula.zsiray at cache.k12.ut.us
Tue Sep 11 11:49:12 MDT 2007

-----Original Message-----
From: Elliot Mandel [mailto:emandel at ala.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:46 AM
To: aaslaffils at ala.org; aaslforum at ala.org; aaslnews at ala.org
Cc: Julie Walker
Subject: [aaslnews] ALAWON - URGENT

*Please post widely to state lists*

American Library Association
Washington Office Newsline

Volume 16, Number 088
September 11, 2007 


Only TWO WEEKS left to Save School Libraries


We need your help - ALL LIBRARIANS AND LIBRARY ADVOCATES - to ensure the
inclusion of the Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries
(SKILLs) Act in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

This is the single most important piece of legislation concerning school
libraries that will come before Congress this year.  

Reauthorization of this bill is critical to the future of school library
media specialists.

On September 24, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education
and Labor will be considering reauthorization of the NCLB. In order for the
SKILLs Act to be included in NCLB - that is, to place a highly qualified
school library media specialist in every school - each member of the House
must co-sponsor the SKILLS Act. 

There is little more than two weeks to accomplish this goal and the name of
your Representative must appear on this bill. If your Representative's name
does not appear as a co-sponsor, please call his/her office immediately and
request that he/she support the SKILLs Act. If your Representative's name
DOES appear on this bill, contact his/her office and thank him/her for the
continued support of school libraries and school library media specialists. 


Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)
Vernon Ehlers (MI-3)


Bart Gordon (TN-6)
Tim Holden (PA-17)
Steve Cohen (TN-9)
James McGovern (MA-3)

LIBRARIANS: Post this flier in your library. 
GET YOUR PATRONS TO CALL! We need as many patrons as possible to call their

Urgent Action Needed: This legislation is critical to the future of school
library media specialists and the bill will be marked up by the week of
September 24. Please contact your Representative immediately and ask them to
co-sponsor the SKILLs Act.

When contacting your Representative prepare yourself to state why this issue
is of critical importance:

The SKILLs Act

*	Requires school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure
that every school within the district employs at least one highly qualified
school library media specialist in each school library; 
*	Defines highly qualified school library media specialists as
those who have a bachelor's degree and have obtained full state
certification as a school library media specialist or passed the state
teacher licensing examination, with state certification in library media in
such state; 
*	Establishes as a state goal that there be at least one highly
qualified school library media specialist in every public school no later
than the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year; 
*	Broadens the focus of training, professional development, and
recruitment activities to include school library media specialists; 
*	Ensures that funds will serve elementary, middle, and high
school students; 
*	Requires books and materials to be appropriate for and engage
the interest of students in all grade levels and students with special
learning needs, including English language learners.

Talking Points

*	Multiple studies have affirmed that there is a clear link
between school library media programs that are staffed by a school library
media specialist and student academic achievement. Across the United States,
research has shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn
more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized test scores than
their peers in schools without libraries. 
*	Academic Librarians: School libraries are KEY to ensuring
college readiness. 
*	Public Librarians: School library media specialists give
students the skills they need to utilize your library to its fullest extent.

*	Long regarded as the cornerstone of the school community, school
libraries are no longer just for books. Instead, they have become
sophisticated 21st century learning environments offering a full range of
print and electronic resources that provide equal learning opportunities to
all students, regardless of the socio-economic or education levels of the
community - but only when they are staffed by school library media
specialists trained to collaborate with teachers and engage students
meaningfully with information that matters to them both in the classroom and
in the real world. 
*	Only about 60 percent of our school libraries have a full-time,
state-certified school library media specialist on staff. 
*	With limited funding and an increased focus on school
performance, administrators are trying to stretch dollars and cut funds
across various programs to ensure that maximum resources are dedicated to
improving student academic achievement. 
*	Because NCLB does not highlight the direct correlation between
school library media specialists and increased student academic achievement,
library resource budgets are increasingly being used to mitigate the effects
of budgetary shortfalls.



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r of a few things and added the sponsors.
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