Rhode Island school librarian testifies before Senate committee

Contact: Jenni Terry

Press Officer

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410


For Immediate Release

April 22, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jamie Greene, a school librarian at Hugh Cole Elementary School in Warren, RI, and president of the
Rhode Island Educational Media Association (RIEMA), testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) today in a hearing titled, “ESEA Reauthorization: Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student.”

testimony highlighted the critical role of school libraries in our nation’s educational system and the need for Congress to include them in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“As Congress works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), AASL is encouraged that school librarians have been included in the discussion to help ensure that our students get the highest quality of education in the public schools,”
American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President Cassandra Barnett said.

“Research has repeatedly shown that a well-funded and fully staffed school library with a state-licensed school librarian is an integral component of a student’s education. With the collaborative relationship between the classroom teacher and school librarian, students learn to maneuver through a vast world of information while practicing safety and applying ethical standards to their research and sharing what they have learned. We are thankful that a school librarian was invited to testify, and we hope that the committee will keep Ms. Greene’s testimony in mind.”

Greene was recommended to the committee by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), whom the
American Library Association (ALA) has long considered a champion for libraries of all kinds.

“School libraries and librarians play a vibrant and essential role in the effort to improve student achievement,” Reed said.

“I will continue fighting to maintain federal funding for school libraries to help ensure that our students develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in the workplace.”

More information about the link between the quality of school library programs in schools staffed by an experienced school librarian and student academic achievement can be found on the ALA’s online
School Library Funding Press Kit.