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Over the last week, you may have received an email from ILF with links to the preliminary draft of the school library census report. The working title is The Puzzling State of Indiana School Libraries. In case you did not receive it or if you overlooked it here is the link to access the full report.

 

The ILF Board and AISLE Advisory Board request feedback before we finalize a report for a wider audience. Here is the link to offer your feedback through this survey.  I also invite you to contact me or any member of the ILF board with more extensive comments.  

 

The last six months have been filled with hard work by many ILF members trying to capture accurate information for this survey.  The census contains data from about 80% of public school districts in Indiana and many individual public, charter and private schools.  This is an amazing completion rate for surveys of this kind and is a testament to everyone involved.  The state of school libraries is changing daily, and has changed drastically over the last 10 years.  There have been recent posts and articles in the ALA Connect, AASL Knowledge Quest, and Ed Week about the reduction across the nation of school librarians.  All libraries are dependent upon the success of each other.  School age children need school librarians training them how to be information literate and showing them the importance of libraries not only to their future learning, but to democracy and our nation's prosperity.

 

For me, the report confirmed what many of us already knew in AISLE.  We have heard members worry about staff reductions, changing job titles and the adding of responsibilities.  There are so many changes to Indiana's education community with the increase in the number of schools going 1:1 with computer devices, the changing landscape of testing and the new "Graduation Pathways", and the ever looming clouds of letter grades and property tax referendums.  School librarians need the larger library community to help us show everyone that school libraries are important and that they are needed.

 

I invite you to read the report and respond with feedback.  ILF wants and needs you involved. Please send feedback to the ILF office by August 8. Then, look for next steps in following ILF newsletters. 

 

Diane Rogers
Media Specialist, Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center
AISLE Advisory Board Vice-Chair

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