ALA Resolution 2003

At its June 2003 meeting the Council of the American Library Association unanimously passed a resolution in support of school libraries and librarians. The resolution was initiated by ALA Councilor Cyndi Phillip, Library Media Specialist/Instructional Media Services Department Head, Grand Haven (Michigan) Public Schools, and the Immediate Past Chair of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Affiliate Assembly. The full text of the resolution is included below.

School Libraries and Librarians are Critical to Educational Success

WHEREAS, Throughout the United States school librarians and library support staff are being eliminated as a cost saving measure to school districts that face diminishing funding; and

WHEREAS, Numerous research studies conducted in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas have shown a high correlation between exemplary school library programs led by a certified school librarian and student achievement on state standardized tests; and

WHEREAS, School librarians instruct students and provide the school community ongoing experiences in accessing, evaluating, and utilizing information sources; and

WHEREAS, NCREL's (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory) EnGauge document, 21st Century Skills: Digital Literacies for a Digital Age, states these literacies include Reading Literacy, Technology Literacy, and Information Literacy, which are skills taught and supported by school library programs and personnel; and

WHEREAS, The No Child Left Behind legislation regarding "Reading First" states that school districts provide "instruction based on scientifically based reading research that includes the essential components of reading instruction" will require a library professional whose job it is to keep current with new materials for children and make appropriate selections based on critical reviews by previewing for age appropriateness and fitting the curriculum needs and interests of students; and

WHEREAS, School librarians collaborate with teachers for optimal instructional design to improve student achievement, now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the American Library Association Council directs its President and Executive Director to convey to Governors, State Boards of Education, National Association of School Administrators, Chief State School Officers, National Association of Independent Schools, National Council of PTA, National Educational Association, American Federation of Teachers, and National Association of School Boards of Education the urgent need to support and maintain school library programs and certified school librarians and encourage them to pass this concern along to their state affiliates; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the ALA President and Executive Director encourage state associations to influence state legislation requiring adequate funding and appropriate staff of school libraries in schools at all levels; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the ALA Executive Director arrange a process to support ALA members to advocate for school libraries and librarians.

Adopted by the
Council of the American Library Association
Sunday, June 22, 2003
Toronto, Canada

Keith Michael Fiels
Secretary to the ALA Council