US educational provider Follett partners with advocacy group to save school libraries
In the US, educational provider Follett has teamed up with Chicago-based political action group EveryLibrary to assist advocacy efforts for school libraries, reports Publishers Weekly.
Follett is funding EveryLibrary’s expanded school library advocacy across six US states, as well as its new activist website.
EveryLibrary executive director John Chrastka said Follett’s financial support means that EveryLibrary can now ‘work with several state-level school library associations on much more strategic projects’. ‘That work will include restoring librarians to their schools and supporting lobbying efforts at the school board level and the superintendent level for the state library association’s goals: to see better collections and programming budgets for school libraries,’ said Chrastka.
The organisations’ efforts will center on Illinois, Florida, Montana, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Washington State. Follett School Solutions president Nader Qaimari said the states have been chosen ‘because we knew they had specific issues around funding and support of libraries, and we thought it would be good to start small’.
According to EveryLibrary, the Chicago Teachers Union estimates there are only 160 librarians in 661 Chicago Public Schools.