Video features five authors sharing their love of school libraries as School Library Month begins

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/02/2013

Contact:

Steve Zalusky
Manager of Communications
ALA Public Information Office
(312) 280-1546
szalusky@ala.org

CHICAGO  - April is School Library Month – and to commemorate the annual celebration, atyourlibrary.org, the public website for the American Library Association’s public awareness campaign, the Campaign for America’s Libraries, presents five authors sharing their love of school libraries.

The authors are Mary Amato (“The Naked Mole-Rat Letters”), Rachel DeWoskin (“Big Girl Small”), Loren Long (“Otis”), Scott Hutchins (“A Working Theory of Love”) and Elizabeth Percer (“An Uncommon Education”).

You can watch the video by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOxlfcrmfQA.

School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career.

The 2013 theme is Communities matter @ your library®.

In the videos, each author tells how school librarians made their educational experience special, helping to foster their love of reading by finding just the right book or reading to them during storytime.

Amato shares a poignant memory of her school librarian, who credits with turning her into a reader.

My mother died when I was young, and she knew just which books to give me to help me to grieve and to learn and how to cope with such a serious, serious problem like that,” Amato says. When it came time to write the acknowledgements for one of her books, she dedicated it to “the librarian in my life who hand chose the books for me.”

DeWoskin said she even based the character of a teacher in her book “Big Girl Small” on her school librarian.

Now she says that “the rose of her day” for her daughter – the best part of the day – is the time she spends in library class.

Author/illustrator Long said that when he was a young man interested in sports, the librarian at his elementary school in Lexington, Ky., made story hour “almost as cool as going to gym class, because we would all sit around the room, and she had such a warm way around her.”

Hutchins fondly recalls his high school librarian, in part, he says, because, “She was very mothering towards me, and I was a sucker for that.”

For Percer, she remembers the atmosphere created in the school library itself.

She said her elementary school library was “probably the only place I felt comfortable, other than the art room, and I would toggle between those two spots.”

Her school librarian was instrumental in creating this nurturing environment.

She made school far more interesting for me than any standard teacher could, because she really just let me go and explore,” she said.

Atyourlibrary.org is the public website for the American Library Association’s public awareness campaign, the Campaign for America’s Libraries, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians. The goal of www.atyourlibrary.org is to provide information and recommended resources that everyone can take advantage of at their local library.

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.