Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The School Library Petition for ESEA: Idea Exchanges and Analyzing

The ESEA petition passed with flying colors! During the process of gaining votes, there was a great deal of discussion and idea exchanging, collaboration and analysis – those critical 21st-century skills that are presented throughout ABC-CLIO databases.

Here are some viewpoints from Gail Dickinson, editor-in-chief of Library Media Connection, and Carl Harvey, Linworth/Libraries Unlimited author and President of AASL.

From Gail Dickinson:

"I confess I had my doubts about the quantity of flour." (Mrs. Cratchit, Scrooge, 1951, George Minter Productions)

"We did it! For a while, it looked as though we wouldn't, but sometime in the morning hours more than five hours before the February 4th deadline, the 25,000th person signed Carl Harvey's petition to the Obama administration supporting school libraries. We didn't do it alone, though. It became apparent early on that the school library world needed to rely on friends, and friends of friends. This was a message I was driven to make clear on the AASL Forum. School librarians tweeted, posted on Facebook, threatened family (or maybe that was just me). Companies like ABC-CLIO and Rosen and Capstone spread the word by emailing their clients. LMC and SLM distributed a flyer at ALA Midwinter, and Follett Library Resources helped distribute the LMC flyer. Molly Raphael, president of ALA, emailed all 60,000 members to encourage voting. Many AASL members were constantly watching the totals. I have no idea how many times I hit the REFRESH button, possibly hundreds. It was the most exciting thing I have seen in a long time. The library profession is alive and well, and ABC-CLIO remains a proud and supportive member of the parade."

From Carl Harvey, in response to Gail Dickinson:

"I think some of your statements on the forum, Gail, were a big help in giving people a reality check and a boost that they had to be the ones to take action . . . not waiting on others! :)

I do think what I learned the most is that anything is possible when we have so many folks working together for a similar cause. It shows that ALA and the division can work together, can be successful, can use social media to pull outside partners in, can be a strong voice from our vendor communities, and I think it is that perfect storm of all those things that got us across the threshold! We have to remember how much better and louder our voice is when we work all together."

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