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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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Thursday
Feb142008

Washington Senate bill passed unanimously...on to the House!

DenetteSusanLisa.jpgThank you to everyone around the country who have passed the word on about the Washington legislation and/or showed support in other ways. Lisa's mother even came from Ohio to stay with her family so that she could be in Olympia!

GREAT news came later yesterday afternoon from Susan McBurney, one of the Spokane Moms (Denette, Susan and Lisa):

Susan wrote:

Well folks, unbelievably good news!

Olympia continues to mystify and thrill us. After passing out of Ways and Means yesterday, we expected to wait to be scheduled in the Senate Rules Committee. But .... SB#6380 was heard by and passed through the Rules committee this morning, and then went for a full Senate floor vote this afternoon. Senators McAuliffe, Eide, Marr, Brown, Honeyford, Hargrove, and Parlette spoke in support of the bill, and it in was UNANIMOUSLY PASSED just after 4pm this afternoon.

Lisa was there to experience it, and was mentioned by name in Senator Eide's speech. Our grassroots effort was also publicly recognized in the speeches given by Senators Brown, McAuliffe and Parlette.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all you've done to get us here! This is an AMAZING accomplishment, a testament to all of us! The bill will go over to the house next. We'll keep you posted.

There will be more info. posted at the blog later http://librariesfordemocracy.org/fundfuture/
But we wanted you to know the great news.

YEE-HA!!!

Susan and Denette

Monday
Feb042008

Fund our Future Washington rally and summit, 2.1.08

Rally.jpg 

It was absolutely inspiring to represent AASL at the Fund our Future rally and summit in Olympia Washington. The three Spokane Moms--Lisa, Susan and Denette--are patient, persistent, polite and passionate about the crucial role school libraries and school librarians  have in the future of the students in Washington State. When Spokane schools did not agree to restore cuts to positions, someone suggested that they take their cause to the capital in Olympia, so they did! They took the advice of the staffers of important legislators about how to get support and a bill introduced that will put a school librarian in every school and provide funding for resources.

The rally was wet, windy, cold and uplifting as speaker after speaker spoke about the importance of school libraries and support for the proposed bills...and people dressed in black and white (it's a black and white issue, after all) yelled their approval. Many more people would have arrived from the western part of the state but a huge snow fall closed the pass through the mountains. But there were kids, librarians, teachers, parents...including a mother named Susie (I think) from Oregon who drove up from Portland to announce that there was now going to be a Fund our Future Oregon....will Arizona be next?  Hope so! And it was so exciting when it was reported that House Bill 2773 moved out of committee while we were there!

Mike Eisenberg and WLMA (Washington Library Media Association) leaders worked very hard to put together a meaningful and thought-provoking summit...Mike produced agenda after agenda right up until the day before; it included Jamie McKenzie, Gary Hartzell,  ALA President Loriene Roy,  AASL Executive Director Julie Walker, me, President of Antioch University Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet, Washington State Librarian Jan Walsh,Director of the Seattle Public Library Deborah L. Jacobs and four administrators, all concentrating on what it is that school librarians and school library programs do in their schools which leads to excellence. Past AASL President and NCLB Task Force Chair Linda Williams came to show her support. The Spokane Moms are fun, smart and savvy. They presented very special, personalized READ posters to several key legislators among other recognitions.

 
 MeDenetteJanSusanLisaLorieneJulie.jpg


It's grassroots advocacy at its best...librarians were there--as they need to be--but the power of passionate parents is a HUGE piece of the advocacy puzzle.  AASL and ALA will be following the progress of the Spokane Moms and Fund our Future Washington <http://www.fundourfuturewashington.org/> and will be supporting them and others as they work for students' educational experiences.


(With Denette, State Librarian Jan Walsh, Susan, Lisa, Loriene Roy, Julie Walker)                                                        

Above pictures  are from the ALA Flickr site.  I took the one below of Marika...her mom, Sarah Applegate, had to return to work from maternity leave today...My pictures are on my Flickr

Marika.jpg 

Monday
Jan282008

Washington state petition needs signatures--grassroots action

Know any one in Washington state? Below is a link to an ALA news story about the efforts to rescue school library positions in Washington, an effort led by the "Spokane Moms." They are looking for 6380 (the number of the Senate bill) signatures by Friday from Washington state residents.

http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2008/january2008/washingtonskills.cfm

I found out about this effort through a Google news feed and then quickly received a nudge from Doug Johnson. After I sent the news story to ALA Director Keith Fiels who had promised to get ALA's support of school library position cuts when there was a community group to work with, ALA and AASL ramped up the Advocacy Office and the Public Information Office (PIO). AASL Executive Director Julie Walker has been talking to and e-mailing with the Spokane Moms almost every day!

Julie, ALA President Loriene Roy, staffers from the PIO and Advocacy Office and I will all be on the scene on Friday at a rally at the state capital in Olympia. You can help by contacting anyone you know in Washington who could sign the petition--some may ask others to join the effort.

Here is the link to the Fund our Future Washington web site and the petition:
http://www.fundourfuturewashington.org/index.html
If you click on the "Rally" link, you will see what we all will be doing on Friday--grassroots action.

AASL has long put together resources and training for advocacy, marketing and promotion of strong school libraries and each of us needs to include those as part of our work, but passionate parents and students are the most powerful advocates we can have. We see this action as the basis for a national model and encourage other states to seize and create opportunities for rescuing and strengthening school library programs--to the benefit of the students we teach.

So...know anyone in Washington?

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