Rally to Restore Philadelphia School Librarians


The Rally to Restore Philadelphia School Librarians was a huge success with approximately 150 people attending. The event was organized with the assistance of EveryLibrary, a non-profit, national political action committee for libraries, and APPS, the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, whose members supported the rally, assisting with local arrangements and sign-making.

The purpose of the rally was to bring to light the inequity of school librarians in Pennsylvania and the pending state legislation to ensure certified school librarians in every public school. Although there are over 125,000 students and 215 district-operated schools in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), there are only six school librarians in the district, making it the worst librarian to student ratio in the nation.

Lauren Comito, founder of Urban Librarians Unite and recent recipient of Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award served as the MC for the rally.

Speakers included:

  • PA State legislators: Rep. Tom Murt (a primary co-sponsor of HB 1355), Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, Sen. Vincent Hughes and Sen. Larry Farnese (a co-sponsor of SB 752.)
  • Teacher representatives: Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and Jessica Way, teacher representative of WE the Caucus of working Educators
  • Philadelphia City Councilwoman and parent, Kendra Brooks
  • Former SDP librarian and APPS leader, Debbie Grill
  • PSLA's President Cathi Fuhrman
  • Student: Masterman High Senior student Kayla Johnson

Videos of the speeches, photos, and articles in the press can be found on the LibGuide (https://paschoollibraryproject.org/palegislation/rally).

PSLA’s Response to School District of Philadelphia's comments in the press regarding the delivery of school library services to its students can be found here: School District of Philadelphia Must Recognize that School Librarians are Essential to Student Learning