For immediate release | September 20, 2011

Presidential task force to focus on school library programs

CHICAGO — To combat increased reports of threats to school library instructional programs, ALA President Molly Raphael has launched a Special Presidential Task Force on School Libraries. This task force will lead a campaign addressing the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries, as well as the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement. Raphael has asked for librarians of all types to get involved.

“It’s impossible to disregard the impact the cuts will have on future generations,” says Raphael, “as well as the impact this will have on all of the library community. As such, I’m calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to this potential crisis.”

The task force will collaborate with member groups around the association, and work at the local, state and national levels to galvanize support for school library programs. It will appeal to the entire library community to work with external partners and public advocates.

Co-chaired by 2012-2013 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President-Elect Susan Ballard and ALA Committee on Library Advocacy (COLA) Chair Pat Tumulty, task force members include ALA Executive Board members Sylvia Norton and J. Linda Williams; AASL Immediate Past-President Nancy Everhart; AASL members Cindy Pfeiffer and Krista Taracuk; COLA representatives Ann Dutton Ewbank and Debra Logan; Public Awareness Committee Chair Sonia Alcantara-Antoine; Committee on Legislation Chair Eva Poole; Chapter Relations Chair Cynthia Czesak; Public Library Association President Marcia Warner; Association of College and Research Libraries representative Scott Walter; and Association of Library Trustees, Friends and Foundations President Donna McDonald.

The task force will convene for a one-year term, ending at close of the ALA 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. At that time, the charge and outcomes of the task force will be evaluated, and recommendations for follow-up will be made.