Every year, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) sponsors School Library Month. April is the time to celebrate school librarians and their programs! The 2019 theme is “Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library” and the 2019 national spokesperson is Dav Pilkey. Dav says, “Over the years I’ve had the privilege to have met many committed librarians whose passion and dedication to literacy is life changing. I’m honored to be this year’s AASL ambassador for school libraries and an advocate for everything they do to make the world a better place.”
Watch and share a video from Dav on the importance of school libraries and reading:
As part of the School Library Month celebration, AASL will be sponsoring webinars each week in April on Graphic Novels. You do not have to be an AASL member to participate in the webinar. Details are available at the AASL School Library Month website.
In addition, AASL has put together a calendar of suggested school library month activities (pdf) that align with the AASL National School Library Standards domains of Think, Share, Create, Grow.
School librarians curate collections and promote access to books and information, teach information literacy and digital literacy skills, and support technology integration and innovation. They also build connections with members of their school communities and advocate for resources and equitable access for ALL learners.
Michigan School Librarians will be celebrating with their students in a variety of ways including holding special events in their libraries, in their makerspaces, with their book clubs, and more!
You can follow the hashtag #MISchoolLibrary on Twitter to get a glimpse of some of the activity in school libraries across the state. In addition, Governor Whitmer recognized April as School Library Month in Michigan. Read the proclamation here: https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90639-492654–,00.html
What can community members do to help celebrate School Library Month?
If your local school district supports effective school libraries by employing certified school librarians, reach out to the superintendent or the school board to thank them for their support.
If your local school district does not employ certified school librarians, reach out to the superintendent or the school board to ask them to consider strengthening their commitment to student achievement by employing certified school librarians.
The district can use the Michigan Department of Education Effective School Library Toolkit for details on the what, why, and how. A few of the resources included in the toolkit include a video showing 21st century school libraries and the MDE/Library of Michigan School Library 21 (SL21) Measurement Benchmarks for Michigan School Libraries for 21st Century Schools which provide details on the elements of quality school libraries.
In addition, everyone can reach out to their legislators to support school libraries: https://www.saveschoollibrarians.org/3billsmichigan
School Libraries staffed with certified school librarians have a positive effect on achievement of all learners. Let’s celebrate this April!
Kathy Lester (@LibraryL): Kathy is a Region 3 Director of the American Association for School Librarians (AASL), and a School Librarian for East Middle School in Plymouth Canton Community Schools the SL21 Model Library, 2017-2018.