Texas school libraries’ robust programming for students and educators captures interest of nation’s library leaders

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/28/2020


Shawnda Hines

ALA Media Relations

Communications & Marketing / Public Policy & Advocacy


CHICAGO – On Friday, July 31, at 2 p.m.  CT, American Library Association (ALA) President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., will launch a series of virtual interviews with Texas school librarians, beginning at the Lubbock Independent School District library in Lubbock, Texas.

As one of the largest states by size and population, Texas school libraries are the hearts of a vast and diverse network of schools. The interviews highlighted in “Learning in Many Dimensions with Texas School Librarians” will provide a glimpse into the innovation and dedication that they bring to their learning communities. School librarians and administrators will talk about summer learning, STEM, building a culture of inquiry, professional development, advocacy, and serving diverse student needs, particularly in this moment of uncertainty and societal shift. Speakers include:

  • Tamiko Brown of Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land
  • Roger Ceballos of Benjamin Franklin Int'l Exploratory Academy, Dallas
  • Bill Chapman of Jarrell Independent School District, Jarrell
  • Stephanie Galvan Russell of Gorzycki Middle School, Austin
  • Dr. Rosenid Hernandez-Badia of Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Dallas
  • Heather Lamb of Castleberry Independent School District, Ft. Worth
  • Karina Quilantan of Jaime Escalante Middle School, Pharr
  • Kristi Starr of Coronado High School, Lubbock

“School librarians across Texas are improving lives every day, empowering students with a continuum of skills to read enthusiastically, explore passionately, research vigorously, and become lifelong learners,” said Jefferson. “They are leaders in their learning communities and their stories need to be told, their local community and their professional organizations need to listen, and their elected leaders need to support them.”

The Lubbock Independent School District library is the sixth stop on Jefferson’s 12-stop virtual tour, Holding Space: A national conversation series with libraries, to spotlight how libraries of all kinds across the country are addressing the needs of their diverse communities and engaging stakeholders to advocate for libraries. At each stop of the 10-day tour, Jefferson will hold community discussions exploring local and national solutions to local and national issues addressed by libraries, such as workforce development programs, children and family services, outreach to rural residents, and broadband for rural and Tribal communities.

Throughout the tour, Jefferson will also invite participants to join ALA advocates, who are currently supporting the Library Stabilization Fund Act to provide federal resources to libraries during the COVID pandemic. For more information on tour stops and how to join, visit ala.org/advocacy/holding-space.

To speak with ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., or other library leaders/advocates, contact:

  • Shawnda Hines, assistant director, communications, ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office, at (202) 628-8410 ext. 8208 or shines@alawash.org
  • Steve Zalusky, Communications Specialist, ALA Communications and Marketing Office, at (312) 280-1546 or szalusky@ala.org 

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.