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February 10, 2016

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A 92-Year-Old Activist to the Rescue in Michigan

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Doris Rucks rallied volunteers to reopen and run four school libraries in impoverished Muskegon Heights, MI.

ALA’s ESSA Report Reveals Advocacy Plan

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A new report out of ALA’s Washington, DC office clearly spells out post-ESSA goals for school library supporters.

A New Start: With School Libraries in ESSA, on to the Next Phase of Advocacy | Editorial

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The long-awaited rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes a major win, with school libraries now incorporated throughout federal law. Now we must map the road ahead to achieve effective real-world integration of libraries and librarians in our schools.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

President Obama Signs Every Student Succeeds Act into Law | Pictures of the Week

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“This is an early Christmas present,” president Obama said as he signed the new education bill into law this morning. “I love it when we’re signing bipartisan bills.” The bill saw strong support in the House and the Senate.

ESSA—and Federal Support of School Libraries—Signed Into Law

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In the new education bill, the definition of “specialized instructional support personnel” is updated to include “school librarians.” That language “lays the groundwork for new attitudes in state and district leadership” regarding school library services, says library advocate Dorcas Hand.

ESEA Rewrite Passes in House; Senate Vote Expected Monday

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If signed into law, the new education bill would be the first piece of federal legislation in over 50 years to provide school libraries with a dedicated revenue stream to enhance school library services and resources.

ESEA Language Is Final; ALA Urges Action

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With a vote expected Wednesday, December 2, the American Library Association is urging supporters to contact their Representatives to vote in support of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The final language of the bill specifically includes school libraries.

With ESEA Action Imminent, Advocates Maintain Pressure on Inclusion of School Libraries

ALA President Sari Feldman meeting with students at Thomson Elementary School in Washington, DC

The ESEA bill will be finalized and voted on within the next few weeks. There’s no time to waste in taking action. Don’t let this crucial opportunity slip by!

Post-AASL, Inspired Brainstorming at a Lilead Project Think Tank

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Members of the Lilead Project—25 library district supervisors from across the country—gathered for a face-to-face meeting in Ohio. Topics discussed? Outcomes-based planning, effective marketing and leadership, and evaluating student success, to name a few.

How to Foster Teen Activism

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Kansas City (MO) public librarian Wick Thomas brought teenagers to meet the Governor face-to-face in his office to ask for more library funding. That’s just one way that Thomas encourages responsible activism and leadership among young adults.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

How Three California Cities Fought to Save School Libraries

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This report on urban school districts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vista, CA, illustrates the setbacks faced by each and the steps taken to restore or maintain school librarians after budget cuts following the 2008 recession.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

U.S. Senate Passes Its Version of ESEA, Emphasizing School Libraries

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The U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act on Thursday, July 16—requiring states to include at least one measure of student supports such as school librarians, school counselors and art and music classes in their accountability systems.

#getESEAright: ALA Joins Twitter Campaign for ESEA

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The American Library Association is joining a Twitter effort (#getESEAright) on April 9 from 7−8 p.m. ET to support dedicated funding for school libraries through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act.

Illinois Law Lets Schools Request Students’ Social Media Passwords

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This January, a law to target cyberbullying went into effect in Illinois allowing schools and colleges to request students’ social media passwords. The law raises serious questions about student privacy and school policies regarding students’ social media activity.

Step Up on ESEA: Act now to get school libraries built into this federal legislation | Editorial

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A decade of potential school library support hangs in the balance. Tell your U.S. senators and representatives how critical school libraries are in delivering quality education, helping schools and kids keep up with new technologies, and fueling engagement with learning as a lifelong necessity and pleasure.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

UPDATE: Teen Library Advocates Get Booted Out of Missouri Governor’s Office

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Last week, a group of teens and supervising adults that belong to Save MO Libraries visited the Missouri governor’s office to ask him to restore the $6 million in budget cuts to library spending—only to be escorted out by a state trooper moments later for being “disruptive.”

Update: ESEA: ALA and Advocacy Community Urging School Library Supporters to Act Now

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With the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act coming up, the American Library Association has been leading the campaign to get dedicated funding for school libraries into the bill.

Teen Library Advocates Get Booted Out of Missouri Governor’s Office (redirect)

Net Neutrality: Why You Should Care About the FCC Vote

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The Federal Communications Commission vote concerning the regulation of Internet broadband services and net neutrality is on February 26, and here’s why schools and libraries should care.

Kansas May Criminalize Educators for Distributing “Harmful Material”

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A proposed bill in Kansas removes the protection of educators against prosecution for sharing so-called “harmful material” in schools. Senate Bill 56 has sparked strong partisanship, and the American Library Association is closely monitoring its progress.