American Association of School Librarians
GLMA is an affiliate assembly for the American Association of School Librarians. Their Advocacy Tools page contains many resources, including a series of brochures about how school library programs improve student learning.
The Georgia Library Media Association supports our members in advocating for the support of their school library programs.
We use various forms of electronic communication and social media to keep our members informed about the state-level policies that impact their programs. We also support members in advocating for their programs at the school, district, state and national levels.
These guidelines from GLMA are intended to help school library media specialists build grassroots support and influence decision-making at the local and district levels, as well as the state level. This document was created by our former lobbyist/executive office but still contains valuable information.
The Art of Lobbying
This presentation from GLMA is designed to help school library media specialists become more effective at legislators and other policymakers. This document was created by our former lobbyist/executive office but still contains valuable information.
We believe an effective school library, led by a certified library media specialist, is an integral part of the learning community.
We believe learners should be prepared for life beyond school, whether college or career.
We believe literacy is at the core of personal and academic success.
We believe intellectual freedom is every learner’s right.
We believe information technologies must be appropriately integrated and equitably available.
Call to Action
HB 516 and SB 226 are currently assigned to their respective body’s judiciary committees for consideration. Both bills seek to revise Georgia Code to remove school libraries from the library exception to criminal prosecution for “distribution of harmful materials to minors.” This is a simplified version of a bill last year which did not pass out of the committee, and our goal is that these two bills also remain in committee this year. Both bills propose to move the word “school” from this section:
§ 16-12-104. Library exception
The provisions of Code Section 16-12-103 shall not apply to any public library operated by the state or any of its political subdivisions nor to any library operated as a part of any school, college, or university.
Advocating for Library Media Programs, Staffing, and Funding
Do you know both the legislators who represent you personally as well as those who represent the families whose children you teach? A new website - https://openstates.org/ - provides direction and links on who represents a specific address. If you are interested in receiving information on legislative updates and potentially participating in advocacy when needed, please send an email with your name, school, and school district (plus RESA district if known) to email@example.com
Personal interaction with legislators, whether by email or phone, or face-to-face, with stories specific to your school’s situation is most effective. Especially with so many new members in the legislature this session, laying the groundwork with yours now may improve responsiveness later. Please review the lists of committee members below to see if you recognize any names or towns; linking to their biographies on the General Assembly website may also provide valuable information on their backgrounds, affiliations, and interests.
If you have questions regarding advocating for Georgia school library programs, have a story to share, and/or would like to join the GLMA Advocacy Committee, please contact Nan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also begin to consider how your library funding and staffing may have changed over the past several years. Having this information at hand if changes are proposed in the session (or another education funding study commission is formed) may be very helpful. State School Superintendent Richard Woods will also be speaking at GLMA Summer Institute in June; specific information on funding and staffing challenges our library programs face will be useful then as well.
Sen. Chuck Payne, Chairman
Sen. Jason Anavitarte, Vice Chairman
Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, Secretary
Sen. Matt Brass, Ex- Officio
Sen. Lindsey Tippens, Ex-Officio
Sen. John Albers, Member
Sen. Greg Dolezal, Member
Sen. Sonya Halpern, Member
Sen. Lester G. Jackson
Sen. Donzella James, Member
Sen. Sheila McNeill, Member
Sen. Elena Parent, Member
Matt Dubnik, Chairman
Chris Erwin, Vice Chairman
Dave Belton, Secretary
Tommy Benton, Member
Wes Canterll, Member
Doreen Carter, Member
Mike Cheokas, Member
Terry England, Member
Becky Evans, Member
Mike Glanton, Member
DeWayne Hall, Member
Henry "Wayne" Howard, Member
Rick Jasperse, Member
Jan Jones, Member
Todd Jones, Member
Dominic LaRiccia, Member
Mesha Mainor, Member
Bee Nguyen, Member
Randy Nix, Member
Miriam Paris, Member
Bonnie Rich, Member
Ed Setzler, Member
Will Wade, Member
Matthew Wilson, Member