Mom power turns it around for school libraries

22 04 2008

Three moms, Lisa Layera Brunkan, Susan McBurney and Danette Hill, are going down in library and education history for their refusal to let school library budgets and staffing continue to decline in Washington state. 

“A credentialed school librarian in every school,”  is their motto.  And after a year of lobbying and activism, their state politicians have begun to listen. Bi-partisan support saw an immediate $4M allocated for school libraries in the final March budget!!  Now the moms are looking at long term funding and on inserting school libraries into the state’s definition of what constitutes a basic education.


Together with the Washington Library Media Association, the three attracted supporters such as the chairman of the Red Lion hotels corporation, and formed the Washington Coalition for School Libraries and Information Technology.  Their web site, Fund Our Future  has attracted over 5500 signatures for their state petition.  Their blog  keeps you up-to-date on developments.


The fight is now spreading to Oregon  and Arizona.


Many states and territories in Australia are in similar situations with teacher librarians being replaced by aides, where teachers are put in charge of the library, or even volunteer parents and where library budgets are declining.


Join the movement. If you are a parent and your child does not have full-time access to his or her school library and a professionally trained teacher librarian, then demand equity and competitiveness with those schools that do. Teacher librarians are educated to provide and support school programs in information literacy and literacy, as well as the broader curriculum. Hear Mike Eisenberg explain.


Use our Research Links pages (See right hand column) or use the Fund Our Future Research Links


Then ring your local member. (Click on Parents page above.) Email him or her.  Write to your local paper. Let others know what teacher librarians contribute to information literacy and literacy learning and that quality education does not exist without quality school libraries.