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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 <> or my campaign e-mail <> 

I'd love to hear from you--Sara


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TWO weeks to get 400 Sponsors for the SKILLs Act

Cross-post widely, please!

Only TWO WEEKS Left to include School Librarians in NCLB in the House...time to marshall all librarians, teachers, parents, community members, politician friends to contact your representative in the House and ask them, every two days, if they have yet signed on to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act!

How? Go to, and send everyone you know, to the ALA Washington Office Legislation Action Center to Take Action Now!

It's time to show our grassroots strength!

Sara Kelly Johns, AASL President, 2007-08


We need your help - ALL LIBRARIANS AND LIBRARY ADVOCATES - to ensure the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This is the single most important piece of legislation
concerning school libraries that will come before Congress this year.

Reauthorization of this bill is critical to the future of school libraries.

On September 24, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor will be considering reauthorization of the NCLB. In order for the SKILLs Act to be included in NCLB - that is, to place a highly qualified school library media specialist in every school - each member of the House must co-sponsor the SKILLS Act.

There is little more than two weeks to accomplish this goal and the name of your Representative must appear on this bill. If your Representative's name does not appear as a co-sponsor, please call his/her office immediately and request that he/she support the SKILLs Act. If your Representative's name DOES appear on this bill, contact
his/her office and thank him/her for the continued support of school libraries and school library media specialists.


Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)
Vernon Ehlers (MI-3)


Bart Gordon (TN-6)
Tim Holden (PA-17)
Steve Cohen (TN-9)
James McGovern (MA-3)

LIBRARIANS: Post this flier in your library . (PDF)
GET YOUR TEACHERS, PARENTS, COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO CALL! We need as many people as possible to call their Representatives!

Urgent Action Needed: This legislation is critical to the future of school library media specialists and students--the bill will be marked up by the week of September 24. Please contact your Representative immediately and ask him/her to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act.

When contacting your Representative prepare yourself to state why this issue is of critical importance:

The SKILLs Act

* Requires school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every school within the district employs at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in each school library;
* Defines highly qualified school library media specialists as those who have a bachelor's degree and have obtained full state certification as a school library media specialist or passed the state teacher licensing examination, with state certification in library media in such state;
* Establishes as a state goal that there be at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in every public school no later than the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year;
* Broadens the focus of training, professional development, and recruitment activities to include school library media specialists;
* Ensures that funds will serve elementary, middle, and high school students;
* Requires books and materials to be appropriate for and engage the interest of students in all grade levels and students with special learning needs, including English language learners.

Talking Points

* Multiple studies have affirmed that there is a clear link between school library media programs that are staffed by a school library media specialist and student academic achievement. Across the United States, research has shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized test scores than their peers in schools without libraries.
* Academic Librarians: School libraries are KEY to ensuring college readiness.
* Public Librarians: School library media specialists give students the skills they need to utilize your library to its fullest extent.
* Long regarded as the cornerstone of the school community, school libraries are no longer just for books. Instead, they have become sophisticated 21st century learning environments offering a full range of print and electronic resources that provide equal learning opportunities to all students, regardless of the socio-economic or education levels of the community - but only when they are staffed by school library media specialists trained to collaborate with teachers and engage students meaningfully with information that matters to them both in the classroom and in the real world.
* Only about 60 percent of our school libraries have a full-time, state-certified school library media specialist on staff.
* With limited funding and an increased focus on school
performance, administrators are trying to stretch dollars and cut funds across various programs to ensure that maximum resources are dedicated to improving student academic achievement.
* Because NCLB does not highlight the direct correlation between school library media specialists and increased student academic achievement, library resource budgets are increasingly being used to mitigate the effects of budgetary shortfalls.


Click here or the logo above to:

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Office of Government Relations
Lynne Bradley, Director;
Melanie Anderson, Don Essex, Tara Olivero, Rosalind Reynolds

Office for Information Technology Policy
Alan Inouye, Director;
Mark Bard, Carrie Lowe, Kathy Mitchell, Carrie Russell


The "door" is open to volunteer for ALA Committees!

And I hope many, many of you will consider going through it!

The online committee volunteer form for involvement on ALA Committees is now open, It will be used to develop a pool of names for ALA President-Elect Jim Rettig to use to fill open committee slots. The door closes on December 3rd but many  appointments will be made before that since they have to be approved by Council at Midwinter.

How?  Go to the Committee Volunteer page to fill out the online form and then send an e-mail with your choices to AASL President-elect Ann Martin <> who will work with Jim. The more Ann knows about your preferences and your qualifications, the more she will be able to encourage Jim to have at least one AASL member on each committee.

AASL staff will have access to that database, too, and I will be able to get names for ALA task forces  and fill-in committee appointments, but this is a chance for us to have a LOUDer voice in "big ALA."

Send in your form as soon as possible; AASL members are smart and savvy and can bring our views and expertise to ALA committee work. Thank you! 




The Emerging Leader Application is due August 15th!

Are you new to the profession (less than five years)? Will your school support your going to both Midwinter and ALA Annual conferences if you receive prestigious and intense leadership training that will transform your professional life? AASL member?

Apply NOW to be an Emerging Leader and check off sponsorship by AASL on the application. AASL will sponsor two people but you have to apply to get the sponsorship! (HINT: There are other sponsoring organizations, too, listed on the application and you can self-sponsor, but if you don't check off AASL, you  can't be considered for sponsorship.)

Emerging Leaders began in 2007 as an initiative of ALA President Leslie Burger. This year, the program provided 116 new librarians with training and projects to jump-start their leadership in ALA and the profession. Many new leaders put their leadership skills to use by accepting appointments on ALA and AASL

In 2008, the program will continue with a cohort of 120 new Emerging Leaders. AASL sponsored two Emerging Leaders this year and will sponsor two in 2008. Each sponsored Emerging Leader will receive up to $1000 for expenses ($500 for each ALA conference). For more information or to apply, please visit the Emerging Leaders wiki at

The application is due on August 15th. PLease apply!
Here's 2007 Emerging Leader project presented at ALA:


Project M - How to make the library workplace

more Millennial Friendly



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