CHICAGO — Two op-eds written by ALA President Barbara Stripling recently appeared during School Library Month in April. The op-eds passionately make the case for the value of libraries. In the April/May edition of Our Children, a publication of the National PTA, a piece entitled "Stand Up for School Libraries" focused on the value of school libraries.
She wrote, “Across the country, budget and testing pressures have led to decisions to eliminate or de-professionalize them. It is time for parents to demand their children’s right to a thriving and effective school library. Now is the time for parents and community members to stand together and demand the right of every young person to a dynamic school library staffed by a certified school librarian."
Read the entire piece here: http://www.ptaourchildren.org/ourchildren/april_may_2014?pg=4#pg26.
The second op-ed, entitled "Our Library Ecosystem is Under Threat," was published on April 16 in The Huffington Post.
Stripling wrote, “The sounds of libraries today reveal the impact of libraries throughout our lives -- from the excited giggles of toddlers in storytimes to the "aha's!" of young people engaged in inquiry to the quiet conversations of senior citizens discovering new authors and using computers to research. All types of libraries -- school, public, and academic -- form a library ecosystem that provides and supports lifelong learning.
“The failure to nurture school libraries has negative consequences to other parts of the library ecosystem. The closing of a school library results in pressure on the public library to absorb the traffic. While public libraries already offer many children and teen programs, there's no doubt that an uptick in demand will have a strong negative impact on youth in our communities who are better served by the complementary resources and staff of both public and school libraries.
“….we cannot forget the valuable role all of our nation's libraries play in transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. The American Library Association (ALA) asks that you show your support and stand up for our nation's libraries by signing the ALA's Declaration for the Right to Libraries."
Read the op-ed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-k-stripling/our-library-ecosystem-is-_b_5159932.html.