From AASL’s collaborative work with ALA and AASL partners to new AASL publications to AASL Committee, Section, and Chapter Assembly work to AASL Leadership State Chapter visits to preparing for the 2023 AASL National Conference and to the reintroduction of the Right to Read Act and much more – it has been a challenging but eventful year.
Please join me and members of the AASL Board of Directors on May 10, 2024, at 6:00 pm CT for the 2023 AASL Annual Membership Meeting. You will hear more about the work of the association and have an opportunity to ask questions. Everyone is invited to attend this virtual event; registration is required. I hope to see you there.
Other Recent Highlights and Upcoming Events
Reintroduction of the federal Right to Read Act
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) reintroduced the Right to Read Act during National Library Week on April 26, 2023. This legislation is designed to ensure all students, including low-income and minority students, children with disabilities, and English language learners, have access to an effective school library staffed by a certified school librarian. The Right to Read Act also protects the Constitutional rights of students to access information in school libraries and extends liability protections to teachers and school librarians. AASL and ALA are urging members of Congress to stand with school librarians, students, and other educators nationwide by cosponsoring this legislation. If you have not already done so, please take action and urge your members of Congress to sign on! It is very easy and takes only a few minutes.
ALA Connect Live: Our Brave Communities: Embracing School Librarians
In case you missed it, the recording of the event “ALA Connect Live: Our Brave Communities: Embracing School Librarians” is available. This event hosted by ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada and myself featured panelists, Keith Curry Lance, principal investigator for the IMLS-funded national study, “The School Librarian Investigation—Decline or Evolution?”; Liz Phipps-Soeiro, Director of Library Services for Boston Public Schools; Raegan Miller, Parent and Director of Development and Finance for the Florida Freedom to Read Project; and student organizer Cameron Samuels in a conversation about the need for equity of access to school librarians and community support for school librarians fighting censorship. The panelists were informative and inspiring.
AASL Town Hall: June 14, 6pm central
Save the date! Join AASL President Kathy Lester, AASL Chapter Assembly Chair Barbara Johnson, and state-level advocates to discuss the importance of advocating at the state level for equitable access to effective school libraries staffed by certified school librarians and for our core value of intellectual freedom. Share with colleagues in the conversation for ideas to prepare, organize, strategize, and develop state-wide advocacy work.
ALA President’s Program @ ALA Annual: Saturday, June 24, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Join AASL President, Kathy Lester, for a conversation about speaking out for the Freedom to Read and why it is important for all students to have access to a wide variety of books and information. Panelists Kelly Yang, author of Front Desk and Finally Seen; Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, educator, author, and adapter of Stamped for Kids, Amanda Jones, winner of AASL’s Intellectual Freedom Award, and Becky Calzada, co-founder of the #FReadom group will discuss their work and encourage everyone to become ambassadors in the efforts to protect first amendment rights for all.