For immediate release | October 4, 2011

AASL heads to Washington for congressional briefing

CHICAGO – On Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, representatives of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will present a congressional briefing to advocate for the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization.

The briefing, “Education Reform and the SKILLs Act: An Analysis of Twenty-First Century School Libraries and Their Impact on Career and College Preparedness,” will cover how the SKILLs Act supports and sustains 21st century school libraries. The act ensures that every school is served by a state-certified school librarian and the school library program has access to the resources students need to become lifelong learners. Presented in conjunction with Senator Jack Reed (R.I.) and Representative Rush Holt (N.J.), briefing presenters include:

  • Carl Harvey, school librarian, North Elementary School (Ind.), AASL president
  • Donna L. Haye, assistant superintendent, Atlantic City Public Schools (N.J.), an AASL Distinguished School Administrator
  • William A. Mayer, university librarian, American University (D.C.), international speaker and leader on the changing face of services in libraries
  • Kathy Mortimer, parent from Henrico County Public Schools (Va.) an AASL National School Library Program of the Year
  • Connie Williams, National Board Certified Teacher Librarian, Petaluma High School (Calif.), AASL legislative committee chair

The AASL Board of Directors has approved the dedication of Friends of AASL funds raised Sept. 1, 2011 through Aug. 31, 2012, to defray costs related to the briefing. Donations to the Friends of AASL can be made at

School librarians and school library stakeholders are encouraged to support the work of the congressional briefing by contacting their members of Congress and urging them to attend the briefing. Contact information by state can be found at AASL also requests that stakeholders contact the U.S. Senators for their state and urge them to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act. Immediate contact is critical as a draft of ESEA will be put to committee vote this fall. Talking points and a directory of elected officials can be found at

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.


Jennifer Habley