MAME Advocacy News

from MAME's Advocacy Committee / February 2021

Governor's Educator Advisory Council Sends Recommendation to Governor Whitmer

The Governor's Educator Advisory Council (GEAC) has sent a formal recommendation to Governor Whitmer asking her to support and fund the school library bills. You can read the full recommendation here: bit.ly/GEACslib


A special thank you to MAME Member Gigi Lincoln who is a member of the Governor's Educator Advisory Council. She brought this issue to the Council and asked them to move it forward to the governor. A huge thank you to the entire GEAC for recognizing the importance of school libraries/librarians to our students and education community.

MARCH IS READING MONTH - Invite Your Legislator to Read to Your Students!

“March is Reading Month” is a great time to invite your legislators (Michigan Representative and Senator) into your library (either virtually or in-person) to read to students! Based on your school’s current status, you could also ask your legislators to record their read-aloud, so that you could share it with more students.


This is a really fun and simple way to help advocate for school libraries. Legislators from both parties love reading to students and connecting with the schools in their districts.


This set of slides gives you links to find your representative and senator by address (slide #5 and #7), links to sample email invitations that you can customize (slide #9), and a recommendation to provide your representative and/or senator with this 1-page (double-sided) “Effective School Libraries Essential to Student Success”- bit.ly/essentialSL


MAME members who invite legislators and fill out this form (https://forms.gle/dhs41nG3XRs2ni9F6) will be entered into drawings to win one of two $25.00 gift cards to an independent bookstore in their area or some free books!


We would love to see all of our Michigan Legislators receive requests from school librarians to read to their students! Help to reach this goal by inviting the legislator(s) that serve your school’s area to read to your students.

Virtual Michigan Library Advocacy Day - April 20, 2021

SAVE THE DATE!


MAME is partnering with the Michigan Library Association (MLA) and Michigan Academic Library Association (Mi-ALA) for a Virtual Michigan Library Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.


Let's "Get Loud!" and reach out to our legislators. We need the combined voices of all MAME members and school library supporters to advocate for equity of access for our students!


There will be many ways to get involved. You can prepare by researching a bit about your legislator and reaching out to them to read-aloud to your students in March. {See the above newsletter item.} These slides will guide you. It is easy and rewarding to know that you have contributed!

MDE Releases Equity in Literacy Document

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released a new Equity in Literacy guidance document. The document advises school districts on the use of evidence-based strategies, initiatives, and programs to improve literacy achievement.


This document includes references to access to school libraries/librarians to support equity in literacy. For the main references to school librarians/libraries, please see pages 27-28, page 34, and pages 61-62.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice Speaks at MAME Winter Getaway

Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice spoke at the MAME Winter Getaway on January 30, 2021. His presentation emphasized the importance of diverse books and said "The essential role of librarians/media specialists is more crucial than ever." You can see his presentation here: http://bit.ly/suptriceMAME

MAME Joins ALA/AASL Letter to Biden Transitition Team

MAME joined the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and 48 other State Library Associations in sending a letter to President Joe Biden emphasizing the school librarian’s integral role in equity initiatives in schools. They asked for the new leadership in the Department of Education to include the following in their priorities:


  • provide ESSA guidance that addresses the role of school librarians
  • improve NCES data collection to accurately reflect the presence of a certified school librarian at the building level
  • adjust the NCES definition of school librarian to reflect their instructional role and national standards
  • ensure that, as teachers, school librarians are eligible for the same federal supports as their colleagues


You can find a copy of the letter here.

US Department of Education Says Thank You to School Librarians!

On Thursday, February 11th, the US Department of Education tweeted this message, "Thank you, school librarians for inspiring a love of reading in students and supporting learning across grades and subjects." #ThankYouThursdays

Advocacy Articles of Interest

The following recent articles/news stories are of interest to school library advocates.


1) Kate Weber, the president of the Oregon Association of School Libraries, was interviewed on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) "Think Out Loud" program about the role of teacher-librarians in teaching students how to distinguish fact from fiction online.

https://www.opb.org/article/2021/01/25/school-librarians-work-to-combat-disinformation/


2) AASL President Kathy Carroll writes about some lessons she learned about advocacy while working on the AASL Letter to President Biden in the Knowledquest Blog Post "Unveiling Our Capes to Advocate for School Libraries." https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/unveiling-our-capes-to-advocate-for-school-libraries/

Lessons included:


  • Be specific in the ask
  • Explain your why.
  • Identify decision-makers and make connections.
  • Seize the moment.


3) The article "It Takes a Village: How School Librarians Support Virtual Learning" by Mikkaka Overstreet provides examples on how school librarians are supporting students, families, and teachers during the pandemic.

https://bookriot.com/how-school-librarians-support-virtual-learning/

The article provides examples of school librarians:


  • Providing assistance with technology
  • Supporting virtual and in-person instruction
  • Ensuring access to materials
  • Maintaining a focus on equity

Michigan Association for Media in Education Advocacy Committee

Kathy Lester, Chairperson

Committee Members

  • Lisa Brakel

  • Carrie Betts

  • Tam Cummings

  • Cat Kerns

  • Stephanie Luyt

  • Gwenn Marchesano

  • Patrick Taylor

  • Shannon Torres

  • Erica Trowbridge

  • Cynthia Zervos