The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the American Library Association (ALA), 48 state-level school library associations, and the leadership of the AASL Chapters Assembly sent a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team stressing how school librarians are an equity-oriented solution to some of the most pressing concerns facing educators at this moment. The full letter can be read here.
The letter asks President-Elect Biden and incoming Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to include the following priorities as they lay the groundwork for a Department of Education focused on equity for all learners:
- provide Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidance that addresses the role of school librarians
- improve National Center for Education Statistic (NCES) data collection to accurately reflect the presence of a certified school librarian at the building level
- adjust the NCES definition of school librarian to reflect their instructional role and national standards
- ensure that, as teachers, school librarians are eligible for the same federal supports as their colleagues
“The association and members of the profession are ecstatic to learn that the Department of Education will focus on equity under President Biden,” said AASL President Kathy Carroll. “With the support of the AASL Chapters, our national organization has sent a strong message outlining the necessity of qualified school librarians to ensure the realization of the ED’s vision. We look forward to working closely with Secretary Cardona to ensure every student has a school librarian and making a reality of our own vision statement: ‘every school librarian is a leader; every learner has a school librarian.”