Our students showed lots of love to New Jersey School Library Media Specialists this February for the I Love My School Librarian Valentine’s Day Card campaign. Over 600 Valentine’s Day cards were made and 39 Love Letters to School Librarians were written. School Libraries and Public Libraries displayed valentines day cards throughout their buildings and there were tweets and Instagram posts spilling with love. The purpose of the campaign was to advocate for School Librarians throughout our NJ Schools and to raise awareness about the importance they provide to our students. Without School Librarians and highly effective school library programs, our students are lacking information literacy skills, research skills, and are unable to differentiate credible information from fake news.
Now that Valentine’s Day is over, why stop showing the love when School Librarians are still hard at work for our students. The American Library Association recognizes April as School Library Month, where we can praise school librarians and the programs they provide to our students on a daily basis.
The American Association of School Libraries (AASL) recently announced that Andy Weir, author of the New York Times best-seller “The Martian,” will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2017 celebration of School Library Month. In the above video, Mr. Weir says, “school libraries foster critical and creative thinking, providing our students with the skills they need to analyze form and communicate ideas in compelling ways.”
The theme this April is Because School Libraries Empower Students. ALA has many ways you can show your appreciation for School Librarians this month, including social media graphics, proclamation templates, and by sharing stories of empowered students in the School Library. We also encourage you to reach out to your Board of Education and administration to continue to show them the positive impact school librarians have on student learning.
Game Changing News – Proposed Legislation Introduced
With your support, we have been successful in securing sponsorship and introduction of Assembly Bill A4500, which would require specific ratios of school library media specialists to students in New Jersey public schools. The bill has primary sponsorship from Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter and Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly, and has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee. During School Library Month, please contact your local legislator and let them know about the value of school librarians and information literacy in the 21st century to prepare students for college and career.
Need to know who your State legislature representatives are? Try this tool: http://cqrcengage.com/alanj/
- Ask the Assembly members to sign on as sponsors for A4500.
- Ask your NJ Senator if they would consider sponsoring a Senate version of A4500.
Finally, be sure to share and sign the Unlock Student Potential petition and check out the Advocacy Toolkit to find resources for advocating for highly effective school library programs in New Jersey.