PSLA Challenged/Jeopardized Positions Support

Is your library position, or a library position of which you know, in danger of being cut, reduced, furloughed, eliminated, or lost through attrition?  PSLA is here to support you in this challenging time. Please see the resources below and contact us.

 

Follow this checklist to get support and take action.

PSLA Librarian Position Challenge/Jeopardized Checklist

The Public Policy and Advocacy Office supports the efforts of new and veteran advocates working to strengthen communities through libraries of all types. Facing threats to funding, position reduction, adverse state, or local legislation? Looking for strategy assistance or want to launch an advocacy campaign? Contact Megan Cusick, Assistant Director, State Advocacy, and let her know how ALA can help. 

  • Distribute and discuss library advocacy information with your building administrators, superintendent, school board, and community. (see resources below)

  • Prepare a short statement outlining the consequences to students and staff of the elimination of the school librarian.

  • Collect positive statements from district teachers, parents, and students

  • Select teachers, students, and parents to commit to speaking to the school board in support of school librarians.

  • Be persistent and do your best!


     

PSLA Position Statement in Response to School Library Program Cuts  (download PDF Here)

The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) Board of Directors, in alignment with the position of the American Association of School Librarians, believes that every student is entitled to an effective school library program, developed by a state-certified school librarian who is both a strategic school leader and teacher. When school district decision-makers choose to eliminate school library programs and certified school librarian positions, they deprive students of rich learning opportunities, jeopardize academic and reading achievement, and perpetuate educational inequities. Only when there is a trained and certified school librarian present are students taught essential inquiry and information literacy skills aligned to PA Core and Academic Standards, as outlined in the Pennsylvania Library Model Curriculum (PDE). 

Just as effective school library programs can address “summer slide” for students, certified school librarians will be able to continue to offer the resources and instructional strategies to bridge the gap that is anticipated with the COVID-19 slide. The school library, face-to-face or virtual, is the place in a school that impacts all students, in all grades, in all literacies across the curriculum. To ensure equity of library services for all students, PSLA will proactively assist schools and communities to maintain and build effective school library programs with certified staff.

When PSLA learns of proposed cuts, PSLA will actively engage in efforts to thwart school library reductions, working with our educational and coalition partners. Depending on the local situation and needs, PSLA will provide advocacy strategies such as advice for organizing, talking points for board presentations, supportive research to justify programs and staff, online tools and petitions, and messaging for local media outlets.

References 

AASL. (2018, November 11). The definition of an effective school library program. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/advocacy/tools/docs/AASL_Position_Statement_Effective_SLP_2018.pdf 

PDE. Standards Aligned System. (2020). The Model Curriculum for Learners in Pennsylvania School Libraries. Retrieved from https://www.pdesas.org/CMap/CFramework

 (Adopted, Board of Directors, May 6, 2020)


 

 Advocacy Information


Statements of Support

Consider asking various stakeholders for letters of support/speaking at a School Board meeting (if they can hold the privilege of the floor to speak).

From Librarians

From Parents & Students

From Teachers & Staff

Upon request, a letter of support will be provided by the PSLA President.

Parents and Students make excellent advocates.  

Consider asking for their support through letters, emails, and speaking at the School Board meeting.

Teachers and Staff are some of our most important stakeholders.

Ask them for support by sharing some personal stories of how you and the library have helped them and their students be successful.