Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) reintroduced the Right to Read act on April 26, 2023. This legislation has the potential to impact millions of students across the country, providing a much-needed infusion of funding for school libraries, and a huge step forward in the fight against censorship. AASL and ALA is urging members of Congress to stand with school librarians, students, and other educators nationwide by cosponsoring this legislation - take action and urge your members of Congress to sign on!
The Right to Read Act is designed to ensure all students, including low-income and minority students, children with disabilities, and English language learners, have access to an effective school library staffed by a certified school librarian. The act would increase student access to fully staffed and appropriately resourced school libraries and authorizes funding to meet these urgent needs. The legislation also supports recruitment, retention and professional development for state-certified school librarians.
Senator Reed and Rep. Grijalva's legislation also reaffirms that First Amendment rights apply to school libraries, in response to the growing trend of book bans, which limit appropriate educational options for students. In addition, the Right to Read Act would extend liability protections to teachers and school librarians.