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Supporting School Librarians

As a former school librarian and as the daughter of a school librarian (my mother was a school librarian for 33 years), I understand the tough times our public school librarians have advocating to recruit and retain certified librarians, fighting for funds and to keep libraries open. School libraries are at the center of lifelong learning. We need to embed diversity and services to diverse populations in our school libraries which are serving ever-increasing multiethnic populations across the nation. School libraries and school librarians are very important and deserve to be treated as such.

As ALA President, I will seek to work with AASL, the Office for Library Advocacy, the Public Information Office and other ALA units to strengthen efforts already in place to promote the value of school libraries and school librarians, and to recruit certified librarians. We need a nationwide campaign to promote the value of school librarians. We need to amplify the message to Congress, state senate, city councils and school boards. We can expand the Libraries Transform public awareness campaign to include the value of school librarians. This needs to be communicated to all different stakeholders: elected officials, county leaders, civil society organizations. We need to develop online advocacy materials and online trainings to reach school librarians nationwide. 

I believe that we need to engage everyone in our advocacy efforts including school principals, teachers, community members, trustees and boards. We need to seek to partner with different like-minded organizations sharing our core values supporting our library agenda. I shared my vision for ALA when I spoke to school librarians during the ALA Midwinter Conference and I believe that together, we can bring the change we need to make this happen and benefit our school libraries and librarians.

Loida Garcia-Febo