Sunday, August 19, 2012

ALA Needs to Introduce Strong School Libraries to FCC

It is that time of year again.  School starts and thus it is time for school and library E-Rate plans and requests for discounts.  Since the start of the Federal E-Rate program, where $2.25 BILLION is given ANNUALLY to schools and libraries to fund telecommunications, Internet access and related equipment.  Most money goes to public schools, yet ALA/OITP's E-Rate committee has historically lacked school librarians.  Teacher Librarians need to be at the ALA/OITP table in order to have a voice, advocate for the important role of strong school libraries, and get ALA to advocate for strong school libraries as key to teaching digital literacy and cyber safety.  For info on e-rate, see

Public libraries are very important players in providing access to the Internet, but school librarians are tops for teaching digital literacy!  Schools (and thus school libraries) have a captive audience of MILLIONS of students and staff that can be introduced to digital literacy through school library curriculum standards.  It helps to have the library open and staffed by teacher librarians.  This message needs to be delivered to the FCC and repeated. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

For that matter, an image of a school library that includes both books and technology should be regularly shared with members of the FCC and the USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company).  Here is the image I designed due to lack of images that show both print and e-resources.

See the relevant discussion by the Unquiet Librarian on "Dear FCC and ALA: Do you really not get it?" at

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