“Only Thing More Expensive Than Education Is Ignorance”

Tomorrow I head to Ohio for the Virginia Hamilton Conference, so today is filled with much rushing about and checking off of to-do lists.

Thing the first: post this video.

Here’s a short video of me explaining why every school must have a library and a qualified librarian to students at my local high school.


Here are the pull quotes:

"School libraries are not luxuries, they are the foundations of our culture."

On the fact that math scores are up across the country, but reading scores are not: "We haven’t asked parents to volunteer to teach our algebra classes… we haven’t fired math teachers and let kids to figure it out on the Internet, but we’ve closed libraries and fired librarians, who are the central figure of literacy in any school."

I quoted Ben Franklin: "The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance."

My dream: "Let’s fight to make sure that every school in American has an amazing library staffed with an incredible librarian."

Thank you very much to everyone who made my morning at Mexico High School possible; especially Principal Donald Root, Librarian Nancy Nicholson, and teacher Mike Charbonneau, who did such a fantastic job with the video production. Go Tigers!

April is the Coolest Month

Mr. Eliot had it wrong; April is not the cruelest month, it is the coolest month!

April is National Poetry Month.

April is Autism Awareness Month.

And, of course, April is SCHOOL LIBRARY MONTH! In fact, it is the 25th Anniversary of School Library Month.

And I am the "official spokesperson"!

::stands and bows deeply::

::adjusts crown::

(No, they didn’t give me a crown. I bought it for myself!)

I wish I could say that this year’s School Library Month is all about buying flowers for your librarian and baking a cake. Maybe next year we can do that. This year, we must fight the battle of righteousness.


Because all over the country, school libraries are being closed. Librarians are being fired. Children are being robbed of a central part of their education.

Don’t believe me?

Check out this map that shows where libraries are being closed. (Note: this map was just created a few days ago. As news of it spreads, more and more schools are being added. If you know of a school library that has been closed, or is no longer staffed by qualified, professional librarians, please add it to the map.)

There are more than 60 studies that show a direct connection between the improved academic acheivement of students and the presence of a library staffed with qualified librarians in their school.

So! Along with my regular fretting, gardening updates, writing tips and book news, I’m going to be talking about school libraries this month. I would love to highlight your library; the good news and the bad. Send me photos, links to news articles or websites, and statistics!! Tell me about what works in your school library or share the bad news about how it was closed. There is a real need for people across the country to come together and talk about this.

Here is what I think:

"A school without a library is like a body without a heart. A school library without a librarian is just a room with some books in it. Our children need school libraries staffed by professional librarians."

What do you think?