Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Support Texas School Libraries

School libraries and school librarians are in an extremely vulnerable position right now. They need your help, your voice, and the voices of your library’s supporters to let the lawmakers know that the education of our children will be irreparably harmed if school libraries are forced to close, if schools administrators decide they can “do without” school librarians, or if school libraries wither away for lack of funding. All of these scenarios are possible if the proposed 65% rule passes, using the federal guidelines that exclude libraries (but include sports) in the definition of “classroom instruction.”

The vast majority of people, whether they are parents, teachers or persons with no personal stake in local schools, are shocked and outraged when they learn that school libraries might not be considered instructional elements of education. School libraries support classroom instruction, and school librarians teach students skills that will be critical throughout their educations.

They are asking you to do at least one of these four things to help save Texas school librarians and school libraries.

  1. Email your state representative, senator, and State Board of Education member. It’s easy. Find the contact information for your elected officials.
  2. Ask three people-such as the chair of your local PTA or friends group, a teacher, community and business leaders-to support this effort by emailing, contacting their representatives, or writing a letter to the editor of their paper.
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Talking points and suggested instructions (65% letter to the editor campaign).
  4. Schedule an editorial board meeting with your local newspaper. Ask the newspaper to write an editorial advocating for school libraries to be included in the definition as “instructional.” See talking points and background information. Get instructions on setting up an editorial board meeting.

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