New York City School Librarians’ Association (NYCSLA) and EveryLibrary two organizations that provide critical support to libraries and librarians, are announcing their advocacy partnership and goals for coming years. “This partnership between EveryLibrary and NYCSLA will enable us to push through proactive policies that support New York City school libraries that have been decimated or defunded during COVID-19,” says Jillian Ehlers, NYCSLA President.
School library programs have been hit hard across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York City, funding challenges and changes to the way school is held online have led to the reassignment of school librarians away from their libraries. NYCSLA and EveryLibrary are working together to ensure that in the next school year that every school librarian is returned to their libraries and we do not lose any school librarian positions in the process.
Holding the Line on Cuts
In their first year of partnership, from 2021 through 2022, NYCSLA and EveryLibrary will focus on making proactive policy recommendations to restore school librarians who have been dislocated or reassigned. “There’s a need for school libraries to be flexible in their instructional support during this upcoming restoration period,” said John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary. “And libraries themselves will need the funding and community support to make this happen.”
Restore and Expand Library Capacity
After policies have been put in place to restore library programs to meet the needs of their communities, NYCSLA and EveryLibrary will hold the administration accountable to current mandates, rules, and regulations.
Over the next five years, NYCSLA and EveryLibrary hope to expand the school librarian workforce across all New York City schools by expanding the mandate, rules, and regulations to include school librarians in elementary schools.
“I’m proud and pleased by this partnership between EveryLibrary and NYSCLA, because we are stronger together,” stated Chrastka. “With more school librarians at work in our schools,” adds Ehlers, “We will be able to achieve our goals for all New York City students.”