Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"It's Time For Our Voices To Be Heard..... Let's Declare Our Rights To Libraries"

I love being a teacher librarian. I feel blessed and fortunate every day.

In this profession, I am surrounded by brilliant, wonderful, and kind teacher librarians who are my mentors, colleagues, and most of all, my friends.  There is not a group of educators more passionate and persistent about making a difference in the lives of others.
Every day, I am surrounded by amazing young people, educators, and families within my school at Van Meter and throughout the world.  In these spaces, I am motivated, encouraged, and excited to make a difference in the lives of others....especially those of the children that I am lucky enough to be with every day. 

We have a space that brings us books, creativity, critical thinking, digital resources, connections, and collaboration all throughout the day.  It is within the school and online.  

It is our school library.  

We love our library and the community we have created within it.  It is one of the best spaces there is at our school and within our community.  We are all very lucky to have our library and the voice that it gives to all of us.  
Barbara Stripling, our ALA President, is making sure the voice of all libraries and librarians is heard in each and every school and community within our country.  She is lifting up the importance of school libraries in the Declaration for the Right to Libraries, as the cornerstone document of her presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives. 
As she states in the video below, "It's time for our voices to be heard. Lets' declare our rights to libraries."  

Please take a few minutes to watch this wonderful message from Barbara.
As the ALA website states
The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is the cornerstone document of ALA President Barbara Stripling’s presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, which is designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special school and public.
In the next year, libraries of all types will hold signing ceremonies, during which community members can visibly declare their right to have vibrant libraries in their community.  The signing ceremony is intended to serve as the launching point for continued and vibrant community engagement to:
  • Increase public and media awareness about the critical role of libraries in communities around the  country
  • Inspire ongoing conversations about the role of the library in the community
  • Cultivate a network of community allies and advocates for the library
  • Position the library as a trusted convener to help in the response to community issues
At Van Meter, we will be having a very special signing event during fall conferences in October.  We will have short programs presented by our students to tell the story of what school libraries bring to our school communities and families.

I can't wait to start planning this with all of the students at our school.  I want their voices to be heard not just within Van Meter, but throughout the world because of this event.  It will make a very important impact as our community signs the Declaration above that will make a difference in our country.

We all need to get involved and plan signing events to support the Libraries Change Lives... Declaration for the Right to Libraries campaign.

You can download the Declaration like the ones above here.  And a larger one will be available soon from the ALA Store too.
Barbara's committee has also created important online spaces to share our voices as well.  

the Declaration for the Right to Libraries Flickr group to submit your Declaration photographs.  
When sharing tweets about the Declaration and your signing events, please use the #right2libs.  This will be a great way to share news through social networks. 
All of these resources and more are included in the Declaration for the Right to Libraries Toolkit on the ALA website.  

I especially love the 3 easy steps that are included in the Toolkit below...

Host Your Signing Event in 3 Easy Steps
Talking Points: How to talk to people in your community about the Declaration

And this from the AASL,

AASL would like to track declaration signings from across the country. To submit your signing please fill out this online form: www.ala.org/aasl/declaration. Don’t discount your signing! It would be wonderful for every leader within a community to be part of a declaration signing but having your school leaders, board members, parents and students sign is just as memorable and commendable.

After everyone has signed your declaration, please include the location and date of the event.
You can also sign the Declaration online here too.  Please share this with your school community and organizations you are involved in.  It is easy to share through social media and include the hashtag #right2libs to help spread the word. 
When I was at ALA in Chicago this last summer I went to a committee meeting in Barbara's suite where the Declaration for the Right to Libraries was laying out on a beautiful dining room table.  

It was very powerful for me to sign it along with others that were there supporting this campaign, Barbara, and of course.....the right for libraries.  

I hope you plan a special event and signing of the Declaration within your community too.  Everyones voice will make such an important difference.  

As Barbara said, "It's time for our voices to be heard. Let's declare our right to libraries."

1 comment:

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