“Equity to all for school libraries” was a powerful rallying point for ALA Council in Orlando. AASL led the process to craft a resolution on equity, inviting ALA Council and members of all types of libraries to contribute using ALA Connect, Google Documents, and face-to-face meetings. AASL introduced three resolutions to Council which were then referred to the Committee on Legislation and became part of their large report to Council. All three resolutions passed with unanimous approval of Council. These resolutions included one from the AASL Legislation Committee expressing appreciation for congressional champions of school libraries and librarians in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (CD#20.5). The second resolution called for equity for school libraries in ESSA rules (CD#20.6) which continues the work of the ALA Washington Office and the AASL Executive Director while working with the US Department of Education. The third resolution called for equity in all school libraries (CD#20.7). The resolved clauses are listed below.
ALA Council resolved that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
- endorses the idea that every student have access to a well-funded, effective school library program;
- advocates for equitable access to effective school library programs with a certified school librarian, personalized learning environments, and equitable access to resources;
- works with ALA research committees to document the impact on students of a well-funded, effective school library program, particularly in minority and rural communities;
- advocates for equitable access to well-curated, high-quality, and accessible electronic resources;
- encourages state departments of education and coalition partners to establish and maintain funding of digital databases and shared resources to provide greater equity of access in all states and regions; and
- continues to encourage school librarians to apply for Innovative Approaches to Literacy grants.
The full text of resolutions will be available on the ALA website. You can read more about all the work that occurred in Council in the side-bar article “Council Passes School Library Resolutions, Defers Gun Violence Resolution” found in American Libraries. In preparation for the next meeting at Midwinter, I invite AASL members to communicate their concerns and ideas for future resolutions. As your councilor I am working with ALSC and YALSA youth councilors to craft a resolution on the importance of summer reading and learning. Did you know that councilors submit memorials and tributes during council? If you are aware of an individual who was so deserving, please consider helping me craft a memorial or tribute in their honor.
Read other ALA Annual 2016 reports from AASL’s For the Record:
Author: Diane Chen
AASL Representative to ALA Council