The following information was sent via e-mail on October 25, 2011 from Elaine Keefe, MLA/MEMO Lobbyist. Additional linked information included.
Note: Elaine would appreciate receiving copies of any responses from your legislators that you might receive. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send them to Michael Scott, email@example.com, or to his attention at the SELCO office.
As you may have seen in media reports, legislators are considering raiding the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to pay for a new stadium for the Vikings. This is certainly not what the voters were told this money would be used for when they passed the Legacy Amendment in 2008. Raiding the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund for a stadium will reduce the funding available for arts and cultural programs throughout Minnesota, including those offered by libraries.
Minnesota Public Radio did a story on this issue on October 21, 2011.
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) issued the following press release announcing a Congressional briefing on October 17, 2011 to advocate for the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. Please note the call to action in the press release.
For Immediate Release
October 4, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Habley
CHICAGO – On Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, representatives of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will present a congressional briefing to advocate for the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization.
The briefing, “Education Reform and the SKILLs Act: An Analysis of Twenty-First Century School Libraries and Their Impact on Career and College Preparedness,” will cover how the SKILLs Act supports and sustains 21st century school libraries. The act ensures that every school is served by a state-certified school librarian and the school library program has access to the resources students need to become lifelong learners. Presented in conjunction with Representative Rush Holt (N.J.), briefing presenters include:
- Carl Harvey, school librarian, North Elementary School (Ind.), AASL president
- Donna L. Haye, assistant superintendent, Atlantic City Public Schools (N.J.), an AASL Distinguished School Administrator
- William A. Mayer, university librarian, American University (D.C.), international speaker and leader on the changing face of services in libraries
- Kathy Mortimer, parent from Henrico County Public Schools (Va.) an AASL National School Library Program of the Year
- Connie Williams, National Board Certified Teacher Librarian, Petaluma High School (Calif.), AASL legislative committee chair
The AASL Board of Directors has approved the dedication of Friends of AASL funds raised Sept. 1, 2011 through Aug. 31, 2012, to defray costs related to the briefing. Donations to the Friends of AASL can be made at www.ala.org/aasl/friends.
School librarians and school library stakeholders are encouraged to support the work of the congressional briefing by contacting their members of Congress and urging them to attend the briefing. Contact information by state can be found at capwiz.com/ala/dbq/officials/?affiliate_lookup=1officials. AASL also requests that stakeholders contact the U.S. Senators for their state and urge them to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act. Immediate contact is critical as a draft of ESEA will be put to committee vote this fall. Talking points and a directory of elected officials can be found at capwiz.com/ala/callalert/index.tt?alertid=54125686.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.