SLM spokesperson Laurie Halse Anderson visits Mexico, New York school library

Contact: Stephanie Book

AASL Manager, Communication

(312) 280-4389


For Immediate Release

April 6, 2010

CHICAGO –Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson, official spokesperson for the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) School Library Month (SLM) 2010 celebration, visited with students at the Mexico Academy High School library in Mexico, New York on March 30. Available on the AASL Web site ( and social communities is video footage from Anderson’s visit with students, members of the Board of Education, administrators, teachers and librarians from the high school and from the Oswego County School Library System.

“A school library that doesn’t have a trained, professional, qualified, full-time, well-paid librarian in it is just a room with a bunch of books in it,” Anderson said, focusing her message on the importance of school libraries and librarians in education. Anderson noted that over the last decade math scores have improved in American while reading scores have not. Experts cite several possible contributing factors, Anderson said, adding “the one that sticks out the most for me is that we haven’t asked parents to volunteer to teach our Algebra classes.”

Anderson's first novel, “Speak,” was a National Book Award Finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor book, a New York Times bestseller and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. In 2009, Anderson received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement for her body of work for young adults. In 2008, she also received the prestigious ALAN Award, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature. Anderson's most recent novel, “Wintergirls,” released in March 2009, received five-star reviews and debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. In addition to writing novels, Anderson writes picture books and chapter books for elementary age children.

“AASL is extremely excited to have Laurie Halse Anderson as our official spokesperson for School Library Month,” said AASL President, Cassandra Barnett. “Her support and enthusiasm for school librarians and their programs will help bring national attention to the essential role we play in a student’s educational career.”

Anderson also recorded a series of audio and video public service announcements supporting the School Library Month 2010 celebration. School librarians are encouraged to make the PSAs a part of the school broadcast system every day in April and upload PSAs to the school Web site or school library Web page. To download PSAs and follow Anderson’s activities throughout April, or for more information, new resources and activities to help celebrate SLM within their school and local community, visit

School Library Month, begun in 1985, is celebrated in conjunction with National Library Week (April 12-18). Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career. The 2010 theme is "Communities thrive @ your library."

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.