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

Hello, I am the Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle. I use my past experience in college and university libraries to help my current students in school libraries transition into college, career, and life. I am currently the lead Senior Class Adviser for the Capstone Project. I also served at the state level with the Tennessee Association of School Librarians executive board from 2009-2013 and was the TASL president in 2012. I am certified as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, have a BS in Communications with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations, a BS in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Information Systems and a Masters 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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