Indeed, school libraries transform. We know our students’ stories, and we know the transformative nature of our work. But do we articulate these stories enough? And to the right people? How can we use data to showcase the real effort behind that transformation?
In honor of School Library Month, the Office for Library Advocacy has teamed up with AASL to create a School Library Snapshot tool. This fillable infographic allows individual librarians to create a graphic representation of how their library aligns with provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), from providing information literacy instruction to working with teachers and hosting enrichment activities. Now, more than ever, it is critical for school librarians to make sure that others are aware of their value.
We hope that you will share this data with us, too. Why? For one, it will allow us to aggregate state or district information and share with congressional leaders who supported the inclusion of school libraries in ESSA. Also, the more we receive, the more solid evidence we can provide to state school library associations that librarians should be at the table as local education agencies develop their plans for implementing ESSA. Finally, the more data we have, the better able we are to highlight the fact that strong school libraries are no accident; and that we must do everything in our power to fund them and support them—working with all levels of governance and administration.
The Library Snapshot is a project initially developed by the New Jersey Library Association and New Jersey State Library, and it has been used across the country – a testament to the ease of use and the importance of getting this critical information to decision-makers in an easy to digest way. We’ve adapted it specifically for school libraries and are pleased to introduce it during School Library Month, the perfect time to document how your school library transforms.
You can access the Snapshot infographic and additional information via AASL’s School Library Month page. We hope that you will participate and share with your librarian colleagues, too. Thanks, and happy School Library Month to all!
Author: Megan Cusick, Office for Library Advocacy