I Love Libraries


School Library Month Focuses on Declaration for Right to School Libraries

April is National School Library Month!  Around the country school libraries are celebrating by hosting Declaration for the Right to School Libraries signing events.  

The Declaration for the Right to School Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of ALA, focuses on the vital role that school libraries play in students’ education. Among the concepts covered is the idea that school libraries are integral to literacy and lifelong learning, whether it’s to sharpen reading skills or learn critical thinking skills that will help them navigate the internet.  For those without access to print materials or the internet at home, school libraries level the playing field, allowing everyone an equal chance at success and education. 



Jennifer Jamison, School Librarian & 2013 I Love My Librarian Award-winner, Is Not Afraid to Dream 

In her words, Jennifer Jamison, school librarian at Atlantic City (N.J.) High School, the library provides a space for her students that is “safe, nurturing and invites participation.” It also provides expertise that “students otherwise in an urban setting would not get.”

Jamison’s words are bolstered by the results at both the Atlantic City High School library and also the Pennsylvania Avenue School Library, which was named a 2013 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association.



Colorado Administrator Forges New Path for School Librarians 

When $50 million in budget cuts over three years forced her school district to cut librarians' schedules from full to part time, Julie A. Bowline knew the loss of services for students would be difficult to bear. 

But instead of lamenting the circumstances, Ms. Bowline, the 56-year-old director of instructional technology and library services for the 43,000-student Adams 12 Five Star district north of Denver, chose to reimagine what librarians in her district could be—and think about how to leverage the little time they had to get the greatest impact on student learning.


National Library Legislative Day: 40 years of library advocacy 

National Library Legislative Day is a two-day advocacy event where hundreds of library supporters, leaders and patrons gather in Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress to champion national library funding. National Library Legislative Day also includes a virtual advocacy component for library supporters who cannot attend the Washington meetings—advocates have the option to work remotely to connect with legislators via phone calls, text messages, emails and social media platforms.


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Take Action

Ask Your U.S. Senators to Support Funding for LSTA and IAL

Appropriations season is heating up in Washington DC. It is imperative that you call your U.S. Representative by Wednesday, April 2 and ask them to sign two separate "Dear Colleague" letters that will greatly help libraries.  Talking points and instructions for the letters located here...

Mobile Commons

Mobile Commons allows ALA to send text messages to a mobile list.  From there, advocates can connect directly to their legislators simply by responding to the text.  Mobile Commons also enables ALA to post click-to-call alerts on our webpages.  The alert connects advocates, whether they're on the mobile list or not, to their legislator's office simply by entering their phone number on our page and clicking "call."  Read more...


Rural Bookmobile Program Provides Lifelong Learning 

The Rural Bookmobile Program provides life-long learning opportunities by offering library services to citizens living in rural areas without access to public libraries. 

Over 30% of bookmobile patrons are children!  Education in rural New Mexico is directly supported by bookmobile services.   Our student bookmobile patrons are champs!  A home schooled 6th grader participated in the Letters about Literature program offered through the Library of Congress.  Her essay won the 2013 Level 1 championship for New Mexico.  Many other bookmobile students received honorable mention.   Many K-12 and college students ask and receive study materials through the bookmobile services.


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Miami-Dade budget cuts would eliminate half its full-time staff

Without more tax dollars, Miami-Dade County’s library system would fire 56% of its full-time staff and bring on part-time workers to operate branches that will see hours cut by an average of 35%, according to a document released April 10. Library Director Raymond Santiago released the library’s $30 million spending plan as part of a public-records request by the Miami Herald. Library advocates had been pressing Gimenez and library administrators to detail how a $50 million budget would be slashed to $30 million....

Miami Herald, Apr. 10

Former Detroit library official pleads guilty

A former top Detroit Public Library official accused of pocketing $1.4 million in kickbacks pleaded guilty April 15. Timothy Cromer (right) was the library’s chief administrative and technology officer from 2006 to 2013 until he was fired from his $145,323-a-year job. He could be sentenced to up 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Cromer had been under scrutiny and criticism for years....

Detroit News, Apr. 15

Of Mice and Men sustained in Brainerd

Betsy Gomez writes: “In a week that has brought us ALA’s latest list of the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2013, we’re heartened to find that reason has ruled the day in Brainerd, Minnesota. On April 14, the Brainerd school board voted to keep John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in the school’s curriculum. Parent Doug Kern had filed a complaint against the book, citing profanity and racial slurs as the foundation for his argument against the book’s inclusion in classrooms.”...

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Apr. 16; Brainerd (Minn.) Dispatch, Apr. 14

True Diary persists, despite Meridian school ban

Two Washington state women, fans of Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, were disappointed when the Meridian (Idaho) School District pulled the book from its high school supplemental reading list April 1. Sara Baker and Jennifer Lott decided to raise money and buy copies to distribute to Meridian students on World Book Night, April 23. The uproar has also boosted demand for the book in local bookstores and libraries....

Boise (Idaho) Statesman, Apr. 16

Free Library hands out cards to Philadelphia school students

In a year that’s seen budget cuts all but eradicate librarians from the Philadelphia School District’s buildings, the district is now leaning even more heavily on the Free Library of Philadelphia to help make up for that shortfall. The schools and the library have merged their databases and determined that roughly 98,000 of the school district’s 136,000 students do not yet have public library cards. The library and the district will now distribute personalized library cards to every student without one....

WHYY-FM, Philadelphia, Apr. 15

CSU Fullerton library repairs could be costly

Cal State Fullerton sustained $6.5 million in damage from the magnitude 5.1 earthquake that rattled the campus on March 28. Pollak Library South is closed while repairs to the ceiling and ventilation systems are being performed. The earthquake damaged drop ceilings in the library, and replacing those would cost about $6 million. As a result of the closure, students have had issues retrieving books required for their classes. Interlibrary loan services and ebooks provided through the library are available as alternatives....

CSUF Daily Titan, Apr. 13

Colby College faculty object to off-site book storage

A tussle over a library renovation at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, has sparked a debate about the role physical books still play for library users. In 2013, thousands of books began to be transferred from the Miller Library to a new storage building, part of a $12.3 million renovation that also brought new program and study spaces into the library. A group of 76 faculty members have signed a series of petitions against the renovation, calling it “poorly thought out.”...

Augusta (Maine) Kennebec Journal, Apr. 14

Huffington Post

Posted on December 11, 2013 | 11:34 am

Posted on September 12, 2013 | 10:19 am

Posted on September 11, 2013 | 6:24 pm



United for Libraries to host webinar on "Library Advocacy at the State Level: 12 Steps to Success

For Immediate Release
April 15, 2013

Contact: Jillian Kalonick

PHILADELPHIA — United for Libraries will present the free webinar “Library Advocacy at the State Level: 12 Steps to Success” from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, April 30.

This webinar will be led by Jeffrey Smith, director of public affairs for Humanim and president of the Foundation for Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL). Participants will learn the basics of government/legislative advocacy and understand the 12 steps necessary to be an effective advocate for library issues when meeting with key decision-makers. Additionally, a case study in successful advocacy for library related funding will be presented. The webinar is geared toward trustees, friends, foundation members and staff members. This webinar is co-sponsored by ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy.

Jeffrey Smith is a member of the Baltimore County Board of Library Trustees and the Board of Directors of Citizens for Maryland Libraries. He secured two separate $250,000 state appropriations in support of BCPL’s nationally-recognized “Storyville” children’s libraries. He writes a monthly column focused on advocacy and messaging for libraries that appears in Library Journal. Additionally, he writes a biweekly column covering general library issues for Public Libraries Online. He presently serves United for Libraries as division liaison to ASCLA and as a member of the Newsletter & Web Advisory Committee.  He also serves on ALA’s Legislation Assembly.

The webinar is free; registration is limited to 100. This webinar will be presented with Internet audio only. You will need a computer with speakers or headphones as well as Internet access. United for Libraries members can access a recording of the webinar after April 30. For more information and to register, visit http://ala.adobeconnect.com/advocacy-state/event/registration.html. 

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick@ala.org.

The Office for Library Advocacy (OLA) supports the efforts of advocates seeking to improve libraries of all types by developing resources, a peer-to-peer advocacy network, and training for advocates at the local, state and national level. In order to achieve this goal, OLA works closely with the Public Information Office, the Chapter Relations Office, the Office for Government Relations, and other ALA units involved in advocacy on behalf of particular types of libraries or particular issues, in order to help better integrate these efforts into the overall advocacy planning and strategies of the association. OLA also works to cultivate future leadership in order to sustain the advocacy efforts of the association.