All Students Need School Librarians
Michigan -- September 2019 Update
Michigan School Library Coalition
Several school districts like Eastpointe, Troy, Comstock, and Mount Clemens have added certified school librarian positions this year! MAME is excited to see that more students have access to this critical resource and look forward to more schools adding positions. In spite of this, 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.
- 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
Michigan School Libraries / School Librarians in the News
There have been a number of news articles and TV segments since our last newsletter highlighting the need for effective school libraries staffed by certified school library media specialists:
Lansing CityPulse: "Lawmakers Push to Require Librarians in Public Schools"
"When you have a good media specialist in the school library, literacy rates rise," [Representative Matt Koleszar] said.
WXYZ Channel 7: "'I Think We're in a Literacy Crisis' Legislators Push for More Librarians in Michigan Schools", https://www.wxyz.com/news/three-bills-target-michigans-literacy-crisis, May 21, 2019
Representative Darrin Camilleri appeared on WXYZ Channel 7 News to talk about the need for the Three School Library Bills
Fox 2 News Let it Rip: "Are Students Getting the Skills They Need to Succeed in College?", https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/let-it-rip/are-students-getting-the-skills-they-need-to-succeed-in-college-, June 2, 2019
Representative Camilleri appeared and spoke about literacy and the need for school libraries and librarians (at around 10:24 in the recording.)
Detroit News, "Opinion: Educators Deserve More Funding", https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2019/06/19/opinion-educators-deserve-school-funding/1481093001/, June 29, 2019
MEA President Paula Herbert writes that increased funding "...means more school counselors, social workers, and librarians."
Bridge Michigan, "Opinion: Michigan School Libraries are Still in Limbo: Why?", https://www.bridgemi.com/guest-commentary/opinion-michigan-school-libraries-are-still-limbo-why, August 2, 2019.
Eastpointe School Librarian, Patrick Taylor, asks "why it is such an uphill battle for Michigan Schools to have access to libraries and librarians."
Detroit Free Press, "Amid a literacy crisis, Michigan's school librarians have all but disappeared", https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2019/08/10/michigan-school-librarians-disappear/1965219001/, August 10, 2019.
Chalkbeat Reporter, Koby Levin, who came to the School Library Coalition meeting last February writes about the inequity of access to effective school libraries staffed by certified school librarians in our state.
NPR Interview about School Librarians in Michigan
Literacy Spokespersons Emphasize Equitable Access to Certified School Librarians
At nErDcamp Michigan, on July 8, 2019, all three 'keynote' speakers, Donalyn Miller, John Schu (with author Kevin Henkes), and Pernille Ripp spoke about the need for all students to have access to a school library with certified school librarians.
Authors Colby Sharp and Donalyn Miller created a great video titled "Every Kid Needs a Book Whisperer" (https://youtu.be/6QnkHZwNjLA) to accompany Chapter 2 "School Libraries and Librarians: The Right of Every Child" of their book Game Changer: Book Access for All Kids.
The points that they make in the video include:
School librarians provide book access to all students
School librarians are most often the only teacher in their school formally trained in collection development and current trends in children’s and young adult literature.
School librarians teach information literacy/critical literacy skills and how to access information online which helps with, among other things, building empathy skills with our students.
We need our school librarians now more than we ever have!
New Resource: Library Media Specialists and Michigan's Literacy Plan
This presentation can be shared with School Administrators, Local School Boards, Superintendents, and others.
Another resource to share with stakeholders is the Effective School Library Toolkit for Administrators (http://bit.ly/slibtoolkit). This toolkit covers the "what", the "why", and the "how" of effective school library programs.
Thank You, REMC Association of Michigan for Your Support!
The REMC Association of Michigan approved a statement of support for libraries and librarians at their September 10th Board Meeting. You can read the statement here: http://bit.ly/REMClibs. Thank you to the REMC Board. MAME looks forward to continued collaboration with the REMC Association.
MAME at the Michigan PTA Annual Convention
State Board of Education Meeting
New MeL Video Highlights School Librarian/Teacher Collaboration
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:
Michigan State Board of Education Resolution in Support of School Libraries
Michigan Library Cooperative Directors Association Statement of Support
Michigan Reading Association Statement of Support
Michigan Academic Library Association Statement of Support
REMC Association of Michigan Statement of Support
Education Trust-Midwest Support for School Library Bill
- If you have not done so already, send an email/letter from your organization to the House Education Committee Chairperson, Pamela Hornberger (PamelaHornberger@house.mi.gov) to request a hearing on these bills.
- 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: https://www.saveschoollibrarians.org/3billsmichigan
- 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.