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Librarian Act of 2007

The LIBRARIAN Act of 2007 was introduced in Congress. This information was posted on several listservs from the ALA Washington Office. We need to celebrate National Library Week plus be aware of the efforts of Congress to support our profession. It's easy to complain that no one is doing anything for us. Now is the time to do something to thank those who are helping us. Participate. Contact your representatives and help raise their awareness. Be sure to emphasize our impact on student achievement and vital role in schools.

"Yesterday, coinciding with National Library Workers Day, the Librarian Incentive to Boost Recruitment and Retention in Areas of Need (LIBRARIAN) Act of 2007 was introduced in both the U.S. Senate (S. 1121) and the House of Representatives (H.R. 1877).

This bill amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for Perkins student loan forgiveness, which will encourage individuals to become and remain librarians in low-income schools and public libraries.

"The LIBRARIAN Act of 2007 is a bold step forward for librarianship," ALA President Leslie Burger said. "With the face of information changing on an almost daily basis, bills like this do a great service to one of the world's most respected professions, attracting a younger and more diverse crowd with extensive knowledge of the hi-tech services offered
in today's libraries."

"Further, many of today's librarians are nearing retirement age," Burger continued, "and we as a society must do all we can to ensure that every library continues to be staffed by librarians skilled in both their profession and their community."

The bipartisan bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Becerra (D-CA), along with Reps. Grijalva (D-AZ), Ehlers (R-MI), and Shimkus (R-IL), and in the Senate by Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Cochran (R-MS).

"Librarians play an essential role in our schools and public libraries and help to foster a lifelong love of reading in our young people," stated Sen. Reed. "With a shortage of librarians across the country and with many more set to retire, we must urgently encourage more people to enter the library science field and work to retain valuable librarians who are already serving our communities."

Said Rep. Becerra, "The loan forgiveness provisions of this bill will be a valuable tool in attracting some of our brightest and best students to become tomorrow's educators in the communities where they are most needed."

The American Library Association strongly supports the LIBRARIAN Act of 2007 and encourages Senators and Representatives to cosponsor it.

Current law allows for the forgiveness of educational loans for several categories of professionals that serve in low-income areas, such as teachers for Title I schools, special education and Head Start, as well as members of the armed services, law enforcement officers, Peace Corps volunteers, medical technicians and nurses."


 Librarian Act of 2007

Comments

  1. A LIBRARIAN says:

    It really doesn’t matter if schools are not hiring librarians. A lot of today’s schools hire aides to fill library positions because of lack of funding to actually hire a licensed library media specialist.

  2. Another Librarian says:

    And that bill only provides for low-income schools and public libraries. I am nowhere near retirement and don’t need any loan forgiveness…what I need it some sort of mandate in NCLB that requires schools to keep a certified library media specialist on staff for each building…or provides grant funding to schools that do. Due to budget cuts, my position has been eliminated and I’ll be moved to a classroom next year. Just because I don’t “look at 30 students every hour.” Nevermind that fact that I have half of the school population pass through the library each month on a drop in basis in addition to scheduled classes.

  3. DIANE CHEN says:

    Aha! Don’t confuse the two issues here. We are still working on NCLB. ALA and the Washington Office is working hard to include LMS as HQT or HET in NCLB during the next reauthorization. When you look at the proposals, they include a certified library media specialist in each school. We keep working on this. There is bipartisan support. Everyone needs to get active and contact their representatives. Simultaneously we need to continue to attract new people to the field knowing they won’t be penalized for getting their degree and college loans to fund them. If the teacher with only a B.A. or B.S. in the room right next to you is getting loan forgiveness, but you have gone back to school to get your M.A. in L.I.S. to begin in our position, you should also receive loan forgiveness.