On Oct. 8, more than 85 school librarians and educational stakeholders in California and Vermont attended workshops dedicated to unpacking the provisions for school libraries in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The workshops focused on highlighting opportunities within ESSA language for school librarians and school libraries to be addressed in state and local plans.
Presented by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in collaboration with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and the ALA Washington Office, the complimentary workshops include the most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the titles in ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian and school library program.
“Holding the ESSA workshop was valuable to inform California School Library Association (CSLA) members about the provisions of the legislation and empower them to advocate for effective school library programs led by certified school librarians,” said Sue Heraper, CSLA president. “It was a great way to get more people from our organization involved and AASL provided a wealth of materials that helped us work together to create a coalition development plan.”
“School librarians are easy targets for budget cuts when people do not understand what we do,” said Anna Bolognani, VSLA representative to AASL. “This workshop gave Vermont school librarians a chance to review and make sense of ESSA and the implications for school library funding and professional development for librarians. We also wrote and practiced elevator speeches based on AASL’s easy to use ESSA talking points cards. We shared ways that we could reach out and work with other groups and businesses in our communities. We swapped stories, ate donuts, and had a great Saturday morning learning how we can be more effective getting our message out.”
Presented through collaboration with AASL state affiliates, AASL estimates the ESSA workshops will reach 1,500 stakeholders nation-wide. A growing list of participating state school library associations can be found at essa.aasl.org. The AASL ESSA workshops are made possible through matching funds provided by Follett School Solutions.
Manager, Web Communications
American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Author: Jen Habley
Jen Habley is the AASL Manager of Web Communications. She manages the AASL websites, writes press releases, coordinates AASL’s online learning opportunities, and oversees AASL’s web 2.0 tools. When not working, Jen spends time researching her family tree, reading, and watching hockey.