For immediate release | July 19, 2013

AASL president releases statement on 'Declaration for the Right to Libraries'

CHICAGO – Gail Dickinson, AASL President, released the following statement regarding the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries:”

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) proudly supports the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries,” a component of Barbara Stripling’s 2013 American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Initiative, “Libraries Change Lives.” School library programs change lives by empowering students to become effective and independent users of information and ethical and productive members of our democratic society.

The declaration champions the nation’s right to quality libraries of all types – public, school, academic, and special – and the expert teaching and guidance provided librarians and library staff. Guided by the AASL learning standards, school librarians teach students to think critically, create new knowledge, share knowledge, and pursue personal and esthetic growth. .

AASL is an advocate for the indispensable role of school library programs with school librarians, for best practices in school librarianship, and for the core values and ethics of the library profession. It is within this capacity that AASL endorses and encourages the profession to support the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries.”

The declaration can be read in its entirety at More information on Stripling’s presidential initiative can be found at

Launched at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Stripling invites ALA members, ALA member groups, Chapter leaders and affiliates to join the effort to secure hundreds of thousands of signatures from community members across the country. Stripling hopes to hold a national summit and ceremony in the spring of 2014 where signed copies of the declaration will be presented.

The American Association of School Librarians,, 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.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)