For immediate release | October 31, 2016

Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina add their voice to ESSA state planning

CHICAGO –Three additional states have added their voice to the call for school librarian participation in the development of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state implementation plans. More than 150 school librarians and educational stakeholders in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina attended workshops on Oct. 20 and 21 highlighting the intersections between ESSA provisions and effective school library programs.

“AASL's session on the library provisions of the ESSA was very informative,” said Kathy Parker, school library media consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. “School libraries' inclusion in ESSA was a great first step. Now school library stakeholders must continue to advocate for school libraries to be included in state education agency and local education agency plans!”

“AASL’s ESSA workshop leads into an upcoming South Carolina Department of Education webinar discussing the development of the South Carolina consolidated state plan,” said Cindy Symonds, South Carolina Association of School Librarians president. “We were pleased to have the opportunity to learn more about ESSA from AASL leadership and to collaborate on how we can best advocate for our community stakeholders moving forward.”

Presented by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in collaboration with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and the ALA Washington Office, the complimentary workshops include the most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the titles in ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian and school library program.

“Many of the school librarians that attended the workshop are supervisors in their school districts,” explained Symonds. “The information they learned will give them the tools to educate and motivate their stakeholders, ensuring school librarians and school library programs will have a voice as South Carolina works to develop its ESSA plan.”

"With a tight timeline to turn our talking points into policy recommendations, the ESSA workshop helped provide the information and advice needed for the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME)to be proactive in advocating for inclusion of the provisions for effective school library programs in Florida's ESSA implementation plan,” said Lucretia Miller, FAME immediate past president. “Attendees not only became knowledgeable on the provisions for school librarians in ESSA, but became empowered to advocate and be involved in this important process of making sure the authorized provisions become policy."

Presented through collaboration with AASL state affiliates, AASL estimates the ESSA workshops will reach 1,500 stakeholders nation-wide. Participating state school library associations can be found at The AASL ESSA workshops are made possible through matching funds provided by Follett School Solutions.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

Related Links

ESSA & School Libraries


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)