ESSA Important to All Librarians

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) #essalibraries

This past week I attended ALA’s annual conference in Orlando.  If you have ever attended an annual conference, you know that the biggest dilemma you will face is choosing which sessions to attend.  When I miss a session [because I attended another equally important session] I immediately log on to Twitter to get the scoop on the session that I missed.  A session I attended was a pre-conference sponsored by  AASL’s Independent Schools Sessions.  Each conference the ISS section tours local school libraries, and it is always a highlight of my conference experience.  However, while attending this important pre-conference, I missed the session “Unpacking ESSA for the Library Eco-System.” Some may believe the signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) does not directly effect academic, public, or independent school libraries, but as Audrey Church tweeted “A child who’s experienced 12 years of effective school library programs is ready for higher learning!” @EmilySheketoff #essalibraries @aasl

As an independent school librarian who welcomes many children from effective public school K-12 library programs, I am grateful for their school librarians and I am extremely pleased about the signing of ESSA!  Furthermore, it is the responsibility of all librarians to advocate for strong school library programs.

Photo of ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff on April 29 called on the US House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education,

ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff

Things I learned about ESSA from Twitter posts

  • We owe much to our executive director in ALA’s Washington Office, Emily Sheketoff
  • The White House Administration needs our ideas and stories about school libraries
  • We must practice self-advocacy with our principals and superintendents
  • And finally  – “Love doesn’t buy books,  Show me the money!” – Emily Sheketoff

I have decided in this post, to “curate” ESSA tweets from friends on Twitter who attended the ESSA conference session that I missed.




Author: Hannah Byrd Little

I’m a dedicated Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle, leveraging my background in higher education libraries to guide students through the crucial transition from school to college and beyond.

I am honored to have served as the AASL Chair for the Independent School Section in 2023 and am excited to begin my upcoming role as Director-At-Large for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) later this year, following my previous experience as a Member Guide in the AASL Emerging Leaders program. These appointments reflect my commitment to advancing library education and professional development on a national scale.

With experience in state-level leadership through the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL), including serving as TASL President in 2012, I bring a wealth of knowledge to my role. My educational background includes certifications as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, a Bachelor of Science in Communications (Advertising & Public Relations), a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (Education & Information Systems), and a Master’s in Library and Information Science.

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics

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1 reply

  1. We need laws in place that make it illegal to staff school libraries with individuals who are not licensed educators endorsed as school librarians. We will never have the opportunity to prove our worth to administrators who will never allow the school library to be more than a place to check books in and out of the library. School administrators are using government grants meant to supply schools with one-on-one tutoring to staff school libraries and displaced school librarians.

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