Founder of School Library Month shares her story in new audio podcast
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO – Lucille Thomas, chair of the first School Library Month committee, shares the planning and presentation of the first month dedicated to celebrating the school library profession in a new audio podcast presented by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). The podcast is available on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/slmpodcast.
Interviewed by Susan Hess, member of 2012 School Library Month committee, Thomas speaks about developing a national celebration for AASL. In 1983, AASL President Judy King appointed Thomas as the first chair of what was then known as the School Library Media Month Committee. Thomas and her committee gathered ideas from existing state and local celebrations and compiled a handbook outlining the first national observance. Their work culminated on April 1, 1985 with a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol.
The ceremony included a keynote address by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (N.Y.), who, along with Representative Olympia Snowe (Maine), presented a joint resolution on Feb. 19, 1985, to officially declare the month of April 1985 as National School Library Month. This bill, H.J.RES.154, garnered 220 co-sponsors and was signed by President Ronald Reagan.
“AASL is deeply grateful for Lucille's work in establishing School Library Month and her willingness to share her memories in this audio podcast,” said AASL President Carl Harvey. “The theme of the first School Library Month stated that the school library was the place where 'learning never ends.' It is the dedication of professionals like Lucille that keeps the profession vibrant and indispensable – and truly worth celebrating.”
For a more detailed history of School Library Month, and sample proclamations to share with local elected officials, visit the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/slmhistory.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.