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Equity for All to School Libraries Community

In: ALA Council, American Association of School Librarians (AASL), Equity of Access
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Discussion Versions 1.4 to edit and comment upon

by Diane Chen on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 08:24 am

We continue to update and try different arrangements of these resolutions. Here is a link to a folder with four documents, one is the 1.3 version including nine resolutions. The other three are break outs targeting different audiences and voices. Please do share and comment upon each others' comments.  

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_8Jv2aKo_JmZVVzclJrZTNCQTQ&usp=...

Discussion Version 1.3 including accessibility

by Diane Chen on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 08:18 am

Thanks to the feedback from Mike Marlin, this version has been edited to include accessibility. The Google version for editing is available at 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_8Jv2aKo_JmNEJENzNGS1QxOG8/view?usp=sh...

Thank you.

Diane

Updated at 8:17am CDT 6/17/2017

Discussion Edited version of Equity resolution

by Diane Chen on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Here is an updated version of the resolution after some comments from former ALA Councilor Janet Swan Hill.. Please share your comments 

Resolution on Equity for All to School Libraries Community 

Whereas equity of access is one of five key action areas adopted by the American Library Association to fulfill its mission of providing the highest quality library and information services for all people;

Here is an updated version of the resolution after some comments from former ALA Councilor Janet Swan Hill.. Please share your comments 

Resolution on Equity for All to School Libraries Community 

Whereas equity of access is one of five key action areas adopted by the American Library Association to fulfill its mission of providing the highest quality library and information services for all people;

Whereas ALA values our nation’s diversity and strives to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to everyone in the communities we serve (ALA Policy 53.9 Libraries: An American Value);

Whereas  high-quality instructional materials for students and teachers, including print and digital learning materials, textbooks,and other materials, promote rigorous engagement with the curriculum;

Whereas  when school districts provide these resources they should ensure that students have equitable access to them without regard to race, color, or national origin;

Whereas there is an inequity of resources in school libraries with a widening of gaps between collections in affluent districts versus those in lower-income areas;

Whereas there are staffing cuts, closings of libraries, and reductions in services, collections, and staffing by certified librarians occurring in disproportionate numbers for those serving African-American minority students, low-income populations, and those in rural areas;

Whereas many school libraries are closed excessively due to testing which negatively impacts access to libraries and school librarian instruction;

Whereas there is a widening of the digital divide in areas where state coalitions of digital resources are losing funding;

Whereas more than 60 studies in two dozen states show that the “levels of library funding, staffing levels, collection size and range, and the instructional role of the librarian all have a direct impact on student achievement.” (Gretes 2013, page 2).

Whereas the newly reauthorized federal education statute, The Every Student Succeeds Act, includes provisions that specifically support school library programs, school librarians and the role they play in academic achievement, literacy, digital citizenship; and

Whereas this critical role of school librarians is underscored by the recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Education that half of all Innovative Approaches to Literacy grants will be awarded to school libraries; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

1)          works with research committees to document the disproportionate cutting of resources affecting racial and economic populations;

2)          advocates for equitable funding for all schools using the current nationwide average per student;

3)          advocates for staffing every library with a full time certified librarian;

4)          advocates for equitable access to libraries with available hours not diminished by excessive testing;

5)          advocates for equitable access to well-curated and high-quality electronic information resources by encouraging state departments of education and state coalition partners to establish and maintain funding of digital databases and shared resources to provide greater equity of access to all patrons in states and regions;

6)          urges Congress to address equity issues while developing the ESSA legislation rules regarding funding and staffing school libraries;

7)          establishes procedures to enable state associations and affiliates to influence state legislation requiring adequate funding and appropriate staffing of school libraries in schools at all levels;

8)          supports school libraries in applying for Innovative Approaches to Literacy grants; and

9)          establish a position on the role of federal, state and local funding in the ability of communities to provide students with an effective school library program.

Resources:

Baker, Bruce D., David G. Sciarra, & Danielle Farrie, Is School Funding Fair?: A National Report Card, 3d Ed., Education Law Center, January 2014. available atwww.schoolfundingfairness.org

Gray, Lucinda et al., Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools: Fall 2008, (Apr. 2010), (NCES 2010–034), U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010034.pdf

Gretes, Frances. August 2013. School Library Impact Studies: A Review of Findings and Guide to Sources. Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

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Discussion Link to Google Doc for consideration and group editing

by Diane Chen on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 10:01 pm

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IQCdPoWOe32JQCI0zpgsdsRALoKZVph9A36i3CqS_tY/edit?usp=sharing

I have begun a document with sample whereas and resolution statements to facilitate this conversation. I urge everyone to read this first, ponder whether it identifies the problem and possible resolutions, and to add comments. It is a very rough draft. There are so many dynamic participants in this group that I want all of us to be engaged in editing and crafting a strong resolution to take to council in Orlando. 

Thank you in advance for all your hard work. I am also going to store a beginning draft in our documents and encourage you to create different versions in the documents section of this connect community. 

Diane

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Discussion A Resolution on Equity

by Diane Chen on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm

During a recent AASL executive committee meeting, the issue of equity for all students to essential and effective high quality school library programs throughout the country, not only in urban school districts like Chicago, but also in rural districts in every state, arose. As the AASL Division Councilor, I am asking for your help in crafting a resolution for ALA Council that will be purposeful and powerful. By using the ALA Connect Community, we can keep a record of our work plus be open and transparent to all who are interested in this issue. 

During a recent AASL executive committee meeting, the issue of equity for all students to essential and effective high quality school library programs throughout the country, not only in urban school districts like Chicago, but also in rural districts in every state, arose. As the AASL Division Councilor, I am asking for your help in crafting a resolution for ALA Council that will be purposeful and powerful. By using the ALA Connect Community, we can keep a record of our work plus be open and transparent to all who are interested in this issue. 

Let's discuss these and other issues:

1) The equity issue - what have we witnessed happening? Include links to articles, testimonials, etc. Especially things that may become part of our whereas section of the resolution. 

2) What we would like an ALA Resolution to accomplish? (The Resolves which tell others what we want to accomplish)

Here are some links that may help:

 

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Online Doc Background Documents for Equity from ALA Librarian

by Diane Chen on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 10:19 pm

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS:

From the current strategic plan (http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/StrategicPlan/Strategic%20Directions%20June%2028%202015.pdf) on of the eight Key Action Areas

Equitable Access to Information and Library Services

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS:

From the current strategic plan (http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/StrategicPlan/Strategic%20Directions%20June%2028%202015.pdf) on of the eight Key Action Areas

Equitable Access to Information and Library Services

ALA recognizes the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, housing status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment, and housing.

Goals in support of this Key Action Area are largely under Advocacy:

“deep public understanding of the value and impact of libraries of all types “

“Libraries are funded with staff and resources to meet the needs of their communities. “

Current understanding of “equity” informed by 1999 publication, “Equity of Access”, no. 5 in the ALA Action series, which starts off with the statement, “Equity of access means that all people have the information they need - regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or geographic barriers. It means they are able to obtain information in a variety of formats - electronic, as well as print. It also means they are free to exercise their right to know without fear of censorship or reprisal.” (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/access/equityofaccess and http://www.ala.org/aboutala/missionhistory/keyactionareas/equityaction/equitybrochure)

Catch phrases in the brochure that are likely reflected in resolutions are (in no particular order)

Age

Formats, including electronic

Language diversity

Immigrant populations

Filtering, especially as tied to E-rate

Challenges include securing funding to serve diverse populations, protecting privacy, ensuring physical, social, economic access, and convincing public that library is a vital community resource

Literacy

Specific past actions referenced: advocating for funding and policies that support information access

ESEA – now ESSA

AASL’s Information Power – now Standards for the 21st Century Learner - http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/learning

 ALA POLICIES

As Council resolutions that define policy and actions on committee or task force reports become part of the Policy Manual, these are the “equity” policy statements:

Also:Libraries: An American Value, adopted 1999 - http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/statementspols/librariesamerican

RESOLUTIONS

Resolutions that might be of interest

http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/council_documents/2014_annual_conference_documents/cd_43_resol_n_suppt_%20of%20airforce_libs_62814_act.pdf – Resolution in Support of Stable Funding for Air Force Libraries (no new policy)

http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/council_documents/2012an_council_docus/cd_41_school_libresolution.pdf  - Resolution that School Libraries and Librarians are Critical to Educational Success

http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/council_documents/2010annual_council_docus/cd_20_5_20_11_legisl.pdf

ALA CD#20.6, Resolution to Increase Funding for  Improving Literacy through School Libraries Programs to a $100 Million, and CD#20.7, A Resolution to Include School Librarians in the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

We greatly appreciate the assistance of Karen Muller, MLS; Librarian and Knowledge Management Specialist for the American Library Association.

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All students deserve access to a quality education. Unfortunately the issue of inequality in education is growing.

Have you read the article on property taxes, inequality, and "Why America's Schools Have a Money Problem?"http://www.npr.org/2016/04/18/474256366/why-americas-schools-have-a-money-problem 

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has been monitoring the equity of access to essential and effective high quality school library programs throughout the country, not only in urban school districts like Chicago, but also in rural districts in every state. In fact, AASL and ALA have jointly issued letters of support and responded to requests from our affiliates whenever possible while maintaining a fine balance between advocating and crossing the 501(c) line.

As the AASL division councilor, I would appreciate your assistance to co-write a resolution on equity. Please contact me if you are willing to collaborate on the issue of equality and access to school librarians and school librarians in K-12 schools. My email is dianerchen@gmail.com 

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