All Students Need School Librarians

Michigan -- December 2019 Update

Michigan School Library Coalition

All of Michigan's students need equitable access to effective school libraries staffed by certified school librarians!

Although there has been an increase in the number of certified school librarians in our schools, Michigan still ranks 47th in the nation in the ratio of students to certified school librarians. All students in our state deserve to have access to the services provided by a teacher-certified school librarian.

School librarians:

  • Improve student achievement, especially reading achievement
  • Lead and support technology integration
  • Improve college and career readiness by:

* Teaching research and information literacy skills

* Teaching digital citizenship skills

Thank You, Michigan Library Association (MLA) for Your Support!

The Michigan Library Association announced their statement of support for school libraries at the MAME Conference in October 2019. You can read the statement here:

Thank you to the Michigan Library Association Board. MAME looks forward to continued collaboration with MLA to strengthen the Library Ecosystem in Michigan.

Mark your calendars for Michigan Library Legislative Day which will be held on April 22, 2020. All library supporters are welcome to participate!

October was Library Appreciation Month in Michigan!

Both the Michigan House and the Michigan Senate passed resolutions recognizing October 2019 as Library Appreciation Month. Thank you to the Michigan Library Association for orchestrating the passing of these bi-partisan resolutions in both the Michigan House and the Michigan Senate.

Details of the resolutions are below.

Senate Resolution 79


Jim Stamas (district 36)

Marshall Bullock, Kenneth Horn, Michael MacDonald, Dayna Polehanki, Sylvia Santana

House Resolution 170


Mark Huizenga (district 74)

Kathy Crawford, Alex Garza, Rachel Hood, Cynthia Johnson, Steven Johnson, Donna Lasinski, Leslie Love, Angela Witwer

Video from Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Whitmer created a video as part of Library Appreciation Month. At about 0:40 sec in the video, the governor says "Reading skills are fundamental in laying a foundation for future academic success in every grade and for every student. It’s appalling that only 8% of Michigan schools have certified, credentialed, full-time librarians and 65% have no staff at all. We must do better.” Thank you, Governor Whitmer, for recognizing the need for certified librarians in our schools!

Research Confirms Value of School Librarians

The New York State Education Department, the New York State Library along with the Northeast Comprehensive Center/RMC Research Corporation have published a new Informational Brief entitled Roles of the School Librarian: Empowering Student Learning and Success (2019) at: An Executive Summary of the document is available at

The summary states: The school librarians’ contributions, whether direct or indirect, are consistently shown to be of positive value to not only students and teachers, but the wider school community."

MAME Meets with Representative Pamela Hornberger

MAME met with House Education Committee Chairperson, Representative Pamela Hornberger, on November 6, along with Dr. David Michelson from the Michigan Education Association. MAME was able to share information about the positive impact of certified school librarians on students as well as the current status. The meeting went well. Representative Hornberger listened carefully and as stated in Koby Levin's August Detroit Free Press article, Representative Hornberger understands the need for certified school librarians, but she says the issue is "how we’re going to end up getting them.”

MAME Honors Representatives Camilleri, Koleszar, and Pagan

MAME members Kathy Lester, Lisa Brakel, and Katherine Pfeiffer presented the MAME Government Official of the Year Award for 2019 to Representative Darrin Camilleri, Representative Matt Koleszar, and Representative Kristy Pagan in Lansing. These three legislators introduced the three library bills to require all schools to have a school library and to be staffed by a certified school librarian. They have helped to advocate and raise awareness for the critical need for school librarians. MAME is appreciative of their work.

New Videos from NJASL & NJEA

The New Jersey Association for School Librarians along with the New Jersey Education Association published some new videos highlighting the important role of school librarians in schools. You can watch these great videos at:

Baltimore Libary Project - Proven Results!

MAME Member, Kathy Lester, had the opportunity to visit one of the school libraries in Baltimore that was renovated by the Baltimore Library Project supported by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The Project made sure that a certified school librarian was in place at all of the renovated school libraries and funding was included for the professional development of the librarians. They found:

  • Book checkouts increased by 400 percent over a four-year period

  • Reading fluency scores among third-grade students in two of the first Library Project Schools rose from 33 percent of students at benchmark to 64 percent at benchmark.

  • Library Project students in the third grade were almost three times as likely to meet reading fluency proficiency standards as students in comparison schools.

  • The first three Library Project schools outperformed more than 120 Baltimore City Public Schools on PARCC tests in reading proficiency.

What Your Organization Can Do to Support School Libraries

  • If you have not already, write a statement of support for school libraries (or for the school library bills). Samples include:
    1. Michigan State Board of Education Resolution in Support of School Libraries

    2. Michigan Reading Association Statement of Support

    3. Michigan Library Cooperative Directors Association Statement of Support

    4. Michigan Library Association Statement of Support

    5. Michigan Academic Library Association Statement of Support

    6. REMC Association of Michigan Statement of Support

    7. Michigan Education Association Resolution (p. 434 of pdf)

    8. Education Trust-Midwest Support for School Library Bill

  • Continue to Share the Call to Action. Continue to ask your members to send emails to their legislators to support the school library bills. EveryLibrary has created a page to make it easy to do so at this link:
  • If you have not done so already, send an email/letter from your organization to the House Education Committee Chairperson, Pamela Hornberger ( to request a hearing on these bills.
  • Reach out to Local School Boards and Superintendents to express the need for ALL students to have equitable access to school libraries staffed by certified school librarians.

MAME Willing to Present at Your Association Event or Conference

MAME is willing to present at your event or conference about effective school library programs or about specific topics such as books & reading, research skills, digital citizenship, and/or technology integration. Please reach out if interested.

Previoius Versions of This Newsletter

You can find previous versions of this newsletter at the following links:

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Also, please let us know what actions your organization has taken.

Email Kathy Lester at

Thank you so much for your support!