School Library Advocacy
Parents, you can help advocate for your child’s school library: Ask your child’s school principal or school board trustee these 3 questions:
- Does my child still have access to school library resources and to a qualified school library professional? How?
- Is a qualified school library professional responsible for selecting the books in my child’s school library?
- What is your plan for the school library next year?
School Library Advocacy Resources
The Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) is aware of the significant impact of COVID-19 on Ontario’s educators, including school library staff across Ontario. OLA and OSLA have been actively engaging decision-makers to advocacy for the protection of school libraries and school library staffing during this challenging school year. We’ve compiled her our more recent school library advocacy materials and letters:
Communications with Ontario Directors Education and School Board Trustee Chairs
- Including Library Learning Commons in 2021-22 Return to School Protocols (August 2021), in English and in French
- School Libraries & the 2021-22 Grants for Student Needs (May 2021), in English and in French
- Invest in Student Success by Investing in the School Library (December 2020), in English and in French
- Ensuring Student Success Through Access to School Libraries (July 2020), in English and in French
School Library Advocacy Resources from OSLA
- COVID-19 School Library Brief For School Boards In Ontario (Updated November 2020)
- Response to the Toronto District School Board’s decision to repurpose all Elementary teacher-librarians (September 9, 2020)
- Open Letter to Ministry of Education and Ontario School Board Associations (July 31, 2020)
Communications from Aligned organizations
Aligned organizations continue to also support strong school libraries, with these recent examples of advocacy for Ontario School Libraries.
- Save School Libraries Coalition – Letter to Council of Ontario Directors of Education and the Ontario Principal’s Council (April 6, 2021)
- Save School Libraries Coalition – letter to Minister Lecce (October 28, 2020)
- Ontario Book Publishers Organization letter to Minister MacLeod (September 30, 2020)
- Ontario Book Publishers Organization letter to Minister Lecce (September 30, 2020)
- Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) letter to Minister MacLeod (September 30, 2020)
- Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) letter to Minister Lecce (September 30, 2020)
OLA and OSLA participate in provincial consultations on school libraries. You can see our most recent recommendations surrounding school library funding here:
OSLA has prepared Advocacy resources that you can use to advocate for your school libraries:
- Slide deck – Ontario School Library Responses to COVID-19 (2020)
- The State of Elementary School Libraries in Ontario – Excerpt from the Teaching Librarian (2019)
- About School Libraries – OSLA Information Sheet (2014)
- Facts about the impact and decline of school libraries – OSLA Information Brief (2014)
- De-Valuation of Teacher Librarians – OSLA Information Brief (2013)
- OLA Advocacy Toolkit – The resources of this toolkit were created to help OLA members from all library sectors, to advocate for their libraries and to broaden the community of library advocates in Ontario. This toolkit aims to provide guidance as to how to advocate effectively and link to additional resources for members who wish to learn more.
- Watch: School Library Advocacy Webinar (2019) – Hosted Diana Masliszewski and Richard Reid, in this one-hour session you will learn about OLA’s Advocacy Toolkit and how you can use the resources and templates to effectively advocate for your school library. Presenters will provide some concrete examples from their advocacy experiences in diverse school library settings.
- Slides – 100 Ideas for Internal Support and Engagement for Your School Library
- Watch: A Dozen Ways to be Indispensable in Your District – A 5 minute video prepared by Melissa Jensen
- My School Library Rocks (2019)
- School Libraries Matter Video Contest (2015)
- How School Library Programs Equal Success for Your Child (2003) – OSLA Council has created the pamphlet, as the first in a series of advocacy pamphlets, developed to support a strong school library program. The pamphlet uses quotes from research and experts detailing what the school library program can offer your child for success.