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SKJ4ALA

I am running for American Library Association President and would welcome your ideas, suggestions and concerns.

To contact me off-blog, feel free to e-mail me at  either my personal e-mail <skjohns@gmail.com> or my campaign e-mail <skj4ala@gmail.com> 

I'd love to hear from you--Sara

 

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Sunday
Sep272009

"Give us libraries! Give us librarians!"

It sure takes any librarian's breath away to click on a New York Times link titled "South African Children Push for Better Schools" and find out that the children marched to improve education, equalize education by clamoring for libraries and librarians in their schools. Some children do have good school libraries but they are in the the country’s formerly all-white suburban high schools which can afford a well-stocked library because parents pay annual fees of more than $2,200 per child.

The march was organized by the group Equal Education which is fighting for equal educational opportunities for all South African children, starting by raising money to replace broken windows. Calling for school libraries is their first attempt at a national issue. They are already getting results.

I posted this story on Facebook and the AASL and LM_NET discussion lists and got many responses. One of them was from Sue Giffard from the Ethical Culture School in New York City who shared that the young girl from the suburban school with a good school library is her niece! She should be thanked for working for other students' access to the resources she has.

I also heard from Dr. Lucille Thomas who has been an inspiration for me during my whole library career. A past president of SLMS (School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association), president of the Brooklyn Public Library, and active in ALA and AASL, she is responsible for School Library Media Day in New York State and worked to get April named National School Library Media Month. She was so excited to read the article from the AASLForum that she called me at school. I was in NYC for the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries meeting but called her back as soon as I had a chance. Her comment, echoed by others who e-mailed with me, is that it would be so wonderful to see United States students marching and shouting, "Give us libraries! Give us librarians!"

I couldn't agree more!

 

Monday
Feb162009

It all comes together for a New York Times story on school libraries...finally!

I was tickled this morning to find out that something that started almost a year ago has finally come together! There is a great story and video on the front page of the New York Times: I am so pleased to see this story!! <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/books/16libr.html?hp> The video is super, too. Here's the back story:

The reporter contacted me in March 2008 for the names of school librarians who encourage reading who were close to NY City...DUH, that would be all of us! LM_NET and the SLMS/NYLA listservs connected me with a lot of people who were willing to be interviewed. I knew that if she wanted a New York City school librarian, Stephanie Rosalia would be great--she is passionate and well-spoken--so made sure she was on the list.

She followed Stephanie Rosalia for a long time and kept in contact with AASL and ALA, talking to the ALA Public Information Office and AASL President Ann Martin as recently as 3:30pm last Friday.

She is now convinced of the importance of school libraries in students' lives and asks whether there is a school librarian in each school she considers for her youngest child according to Stephanie. I very much appreciate the story!

The story is well-timed and can be forwarded to everyone's governors and superintendents as budgets are being determined.

 

Whoo-hoo!

 

Saturday
Jan032009

Resolutions...

During the past year, I have created and participated in wikis, read other people's blogs, Twittered, found friends on Facebook, but I have neglected this blog...I am not sure if anyone will read it, but it's time to make it part of my communications routine! I'm recovering from dancing in another New Year with my husband's band and an extended Christmas with family and friends, especially enjoying having my son Ryan and his lovely bride Andrea with us for a week. We played with a new Wii (I can finally bowl fairly well someplace!) and ate lots (the Wii Fit will come in very handy) and shivered through temperatures that hit -15 degrees F for a couple of nights. The Arizona-raised Andrea never experienced temperatures like that before.

The conference issue of Knowledge Quest is now in full swing with the earliest deadline of the four I've edited but the articles should be great--the line up of authors reflecting on the nine common beliefs and professional development is a strong one. I know co-editor Laura Pearle and I will be doing final edits between meetings and programs at Midwinter but it'll be worth it to hit the deadline and get the issue out on time...KQ's hit its mailing deadlines well so far this year and I'm not going to hold up this one!

Happy New Year to all; school libraries are on the line this year as districts react to financial pressures so let's promote and market the important work we do, consistently and loudly--a resolution I WON'T break this year!