The ringing in of a new year always gives me hope for new opportunities. After the fireworks and celebrations, I reflect on the previous year, consider what lies ahead, and make lists. I do tend to put too many projects on my list, but if I’m lucky there will be some indicator of where to focus my planning efforts. A new pair of sneakers will encourage me to devote more time to walking, and a new laptop makes it easier to accomplish some writing. Or, as in 2016, a new law re-energizes my advocacy efforts to ensure students in every school have the benefits of a school library program.
This year brings the opportunity to look at the school library language in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that was signed into law at the end of 2015. This is the year when the federal government rulemaking will take the broad policy of ESSA and create the education regulations that will go to states. This year the states will look at the ESSA programs and, through more rulemaking, develop the local school district plans. There is opportunity all along the way for us to advocate for effective school library programs. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a difference in how students learn and ensure school librarians teach for students to succeed.
Read more about next steps to maximize the opportunities for school libraries in the ESSA provisions as described in the ALA Washington Office’s “ESSA Opportunities for School Librarians.” Find it and more information at http://www.ala.org/aasl/advocacy/legislation/essa.