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If you’re coming to MidWinter, make your visit count! Rally to Restore Philadelphia School Librarians

It is really unconscionable that now many students have graduated from Philadephia city schools without ever experiencing a visit to a school library or learned from a school librarian. While students in nearby largely suburban schools regularly engage in information-rich learning opportunities and access to a wide variety of high-quality resources, others do not. This injustice to SDP students hampers their success in career, college, and life. 

Deb Kachel, Co-Chair, Advocacy Committee, PSLA

Several years back I witnessed what happened when students had the chance to see these inequities on their own. A Visit to Remember documents a visit from a group of very local Philadelphia students to our just-across-city-lines suburban school library.

If you will be coming to Philadelphia for ALA Midwinter 2020, please join us for two important events to build awareness and support change!

The first is a rally to support Philadelphia children who are growing up without information privilege.

Here are the details:

PSLA and EveryLibrary, a non-profit, national political action committee for libraries, are organizing a Rally to Restore Philadelphia School Librarians to be held Friday, January 24, in front of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) Administration Building, 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, from 12:30 to 1:00pm, when students have a half-day of school. 

APPS, the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools is also supporting the rally, assisting with local arrangements. The Administration Building is four blocks from the Convention Center. 

Although there are over 200,000 students in SDP with 341 schools, there are fewer than 8 school librarians in the district, making it the worst librarian to student ratio in the nation.

PSLA’s message will be: Every student deserves a certified school librarian and a quality school libraryLauren Comito, founder of Urban LibrariansUnite and recent recipient of Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award will be the MC.

Speakers will include PA State Rep. Thomas Murt, a primary co-sponsor of HB 1355, Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Magna Diaz, retired/former Director of SDP Librarians, one or two Philadelphia City Council members, and a parent and student. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP at https://www.saveschoollibrarians.org/rally_psla_20.

And there’s more. Please register to join us for the launch of Libraries 2020:

On Saturday night, January 25, from 8:00 to 11:00pm, PSLA and EveryLibrary are planning the launch of Libraries 2020, EveryLibrary’s new national campaign to build voter support for libraries.

Here are the details from EveryLibrary:

We’re focusing on school libraries with the launch because every child deserves a school librarian in their lives. The library fundraiser to be held at Howl at the Moon, 258 S 15th St; a popular bar venue in Philadelphia (Google Map & Directions)

We are looking forward to a fantastic Saturday night with folks from across the country at the exciting Howl at the Moon piano bar. Your ticket includes two drinks, appetizers, and three hours of dueling pianos, laughs, and dancing. 

Proceeds from the event will be shared by EveryLibrary and PSLA to advance both of our missions: to see more school librarians restored to Philadelphia schools and working all across Pennsylvania.  

Your contributions go also go to support four critical activities as part of the libraries 2020 campaign that ensure that libraries will be funded well into the future.

1. Help us make direct contributions to local library campaigns and elections
2. Allow us to provide pro-bono tools and resources to library campaigns for political initiatives
3. Support or oppose legislation that impact libraries’ ability to serve their communities
4. Conduct national voter education about the importance and impact of libraries through television, radio, print, and digital media

Get your tickets early and save money on a dueling piano experience unlike any other.

Howl at the Moon is the Dueling Piano Bar that Rocks! Howl’s entertainers will be performing live music using everything from baby grands to guitars, drums, and more.

Whether you’re in the mood for Journey or Lady Gaga – you say it, they’ll play it. While the bar is open for librarians from 8 p.m. – 11 a.m., the high energy show goes until 1 a.m.

Buy your tickets now at http://www.everylibrary.org/libraries2020_launchparty

Hoping to see you in Philadelpia where we let everyone know that #PhillyKidsNeedSchLibrns

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

Comments

  1. Pam Hansen says:

    I understnd that attending the rally is a good thing, However, why is the ALA even having their conference in a city that does not have school librarians? Why are we supporting a city that does not support us?

  2. Thank you for sharing this post, Joyce. I do believe that a certified school librarian is the one who makes the library perfect. At LUSD, we make sure that librarians are certified for better library management.

  3. Librarian plays a vital role in systematic enhancement of school culture. A well trained and experienced librarian will uplift the interest of teachers and students in reading books and generate creative ideas. So it’s important to restore the culture and decorum of the library. Thanks, Joyce for giving us rich learning opportunities through this article.

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