Pulling Back the Curtain on School Boards. Knowing How They Work Has Never Been More Critical.

On January 3, 2020, School Library Journal published a no-holds-barred article on the role of school boards in addressing school library staffing issues. In particular, the article addresses how–and how not–to advocate for school librarian jobs when job cuts are threatened.

The article cites my March 2018 SLJ article–School Librarian, Where Art Thou?–noting the loss of 10,000 school librarian FTEs since 2009.

In addition, author Wayne D’Orio interviewed me at length for the article. I am quoted at the end of article as saying,

“When people are threatened, that’s when I hear from librarians … To me, this is not advocacy, it’s damage control.”

That probably sounds brutal to many; but, sadly, it’s the truth. Advocacy must be a 24/7/365 activity. The announcement of cuts, or planning of cuts, is how one knows that advocacy either didn’t happen when and as it should have, or was not successful in persuading decision-makers.

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