School librarians in three additional states are prepared and eager to participate in the development of their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state implementation plans. Along with other educational stakeholders, school librarians in Missouri, Hawaii and Alabama attended workshops on Oct. 28 and 29 highlighting the intersections between ESSA provisions and effective school library programs.
“AASL has gone above and beyond to provide librarians with the materials and resources necessary to advocate for our libraries,” said Susan Robe, participant at the Alabama workshop. “The workshop helped me understand what kinds of funds could be used for what purposes and what I needed to do at the state and local level to benefit my own library and my own professional growth. I am also confident that I am ready to share this information with librarians in my area who weren’t able to attend the workshop.”
“The ESSA workshop provided our members with clarity regarding its specifics and the timeline states and districts are facing,” said Amy Taylor, Missouri Association of School Librarians president. “It helped us determine where to best focus our efforts and gave us concrete examples of steps we can take.”
Presented by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in collaboration with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and the ALA Washington Office, the complimentary workshops include the most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the titles in ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian and school library program.
“Our advocacy task force launched an ‘advocacy challenge’ for our membership today,” continues Taylor. “Several of the tasks on the challenge are related to concepts we discussed at the ESSA workshop. We plan to connect our members to resources available on the ESSA website and resources we developed as a result of the workshop.”
“Alabama’s state committees on ESSA welcomed comments until October 30,” explained Robie. “Our group submitted several specific comments to our state committees reminding them that school libraries are in a position to affect the progress of every single student and that we would like to be included in the state’s language so that districts know without a doubt that libraries qualify for Title funds. It’s always rejuvenating to gather with other librarians who are so passionate about doing what’s best for our schools and students!”
“I appreciated learning about all of the tools and resources that AASL has put together for us which will certainly help with our next steps,” said Audrey Okemura, Hawaii workshop attendee. “The presentation left all of us motivated and inspired about the ESSA initiative!”
Presented through collaboration with AASL state affiliates, AASL estimates the ESSA workshops will reach 1,500 stakeholders nation-wide. Participating state school library associations can be found at essa.aasl.org. The AASL ESSA workshops are made possible through matching funds provided by Follett School Solutions.
Manager, Web Communications
American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Author: Jen Habley
Jen Habley is the AASL Manager of Web Communications. She manages the AASL websites, writes press releases, coordinates AASL’s online learning opportunities, and oversees AASL’s web 2.0 tools. When not working, Jen spends time researching her family tree, reading, and watching hockey.