ALA puts media spotlight on school librarians

Contact: Larra Clark


For Immediate Release

November 21, 2002

ALA puts media spotlight on school librarians

Online media tools provided added member benefit

The American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) have successfully captured the media spotlight and trained it on the need for librarians - particularly in schools - with stories ranging from the
Denver Post to the
Orlando Sentinel. The stories highlight not only the need for more school library media specialists, but the value they bring to their school communities and the need to compensate them appropriately.

"ALA members and staff working together have spoken loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians through the media," said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. "These stories inform, educate - and in many cases - move people to action on behalf of their school, public, university and college libraries.

The ALA first focused its attention on recruitment and the need for additional librarians in all segments of the profession last year as part of ALA Immediate Past President John W. Berry's focus and continues its efforts today with a focus on ALA President Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman's better salaries and pay equity initiative. A national press packet and aggressive media outreach resulted in media placements that have reached more than 12 million people across the country. At the same time, AASL's Recruitment to the Profession Task Force is preparing strategies and resources focused on the school library media specialist.

In addition to external media efforts, the ALA provides tools to librarians to assist with local media efforts. To find the recruitment press kit, go to To better advocate for improved salaries and pay equity, visit To join the thousands of libraries on board @ your library, check out For a broad selection of media tools and strategies, go to For tips and tools for school libraries and librarians, visit

Where possible, the ALA posts links to news stories featuring libraries and librarians on its home page at Look here for some of the recent stories that feature school library media specialists.