AASL Calls School Librarians to Act Now for ESEA Reauthorization

Contact: Stephanie Book

AASL Manager, Communication

(312) 280-4389



For Immediate Release

March 9, 2010

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is calling on school librarians to contact their local legislators, media and community organizations concerning the reform and reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and to speak to the integral part strong school libraries play in a student’s successful education. To support this call to action, more information, talking points and resources are available for download on the AASL Web site at

On Feb. 18, 2010 Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor announced plans for a bipartisan reform of the ESEA, inviting education stakeholders to email their input and suggestions on reauthorization to the committee at prior to March 26.

The American Library Association (ALA) is asking Congress to include provisions in the reauthorization of ESEA to improve academic achievement by ensuring our public schools have libraries staffed by state-licensed school librarians; allowing state and local professional development funds to be used for recruiting and training school librarians; and maintaining dedicated funding for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program.

ALA believes taking action to fund and staff school library programs with state-licensed school librarians is imperative. Across the United States, research studies have repeatedly shown a positive correlation between strong school library programs and higher student achievement when compared to their peers in schools without such resources. Presently, library resource budgets are increasingly being used to mitigate the effects of budgetary shortfalls. Highlighting within the ESEA the correlation between school library programs with a state-licensed school librarian and increased student academic achievement will help states to articulate an innovative, comprehensive, coordinated commitment to reform that invests in school library programs headed by state-licensed school librarians.

For more information about the ESES, talking points and resources, visit the AASL Web site at
http://www.ala.org/aasl/aaslissues/ESEA. Continue to bookmark and use the AASL Advocacy Web pages (
http://www.ala.org/aasl/aasladvocacy) for the most current information and position statements on all school library advocacy issues; and register for the ALA Library Advocacy Day Rally in June at

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, 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.