From the Lips of a Library God

I went to my school board meeting last night where I was encouraged to hear that the superintendent is revisiting the earlier decision to cut library positions. Will be attending all meetings to make sure that he and the board follow through on this wise choice.


Neil Gaiman says "libraries are as important as they have ever been, and they may be more important than they have ever been." Read the whole interview by Himself.  He did a live gig from a library in Kentucky earlier in the week, but I haven’t found an archive of it yet. While I’m searching you can watch this clip and listen to his advice to young writers.

Then read why Google does not and cannot replace librarians.

Here’s another way you can make the world better today: participate in the Guys Lit Wire and Operation Teen Book Drop.

Connected to absolutely nothing, except maybe that today is Tax Day in the US, and now that I’ve learned why J K Rowling did not move out of England so she could avoid paying taxes, I like her even more, read what she has to say about a few things.

Have you hugged your librarian yet this week?

And on a more positive note

Taking deep yoga breaths all night calmed me down. A little.

Today is Make A Difference Day. Make It Better Day.


(photo from The NOLA Tree)

The NOLA Tree is a project run by some friends of mine. They take groups of teen volunteers to New Orleans to help families rebuild their homes after the Katrina disaster. Check out the photos! In addition, these teens do community service in their own neighborhoods. I am a huge supporter of this project. Ellen Hopkins is, too.

Pepsi has put The NOLA Tree in the running for $50,000 in grant money. The people running the project can squeeze more money out of a dollar than anyone I’ve ever seen, so that $50,000 will make a huge difference, if they win.

Please go to Pepsi Refresh Everything/ The NOLA Tree and vote for the project. Then tell your friends to do it, too. A few clicks and you can make the lives of Americans better.


Write to your local school board today. The AASL website has lots of statistics that prove that full-time, certified librarians make an enormous impact on the literacy rates and educational standards of their schools. Use the data. Be polite and firm. If a school can afford to run the lights at night football and soccer games, then they can afford school librarians.

(I’d love it if you would post the text of your school board letters in the comments below!)

There! Wasn’t that easy? Don’t you feel better? I do!

OK, now I’m getting angry

I have been stunned by the ignorance I’ve run up against in the past two weeks. I say "ignorance" because my mom raised me to be sweet and I will give someone the benefit of a doubt until they prove to me that they have a head full of manure or they’ve been bought off by corporate demons.

Here’s the thing. Some school boards (and state officials) have allowed sports budgets to be cut. As a jock, as the wife of a jock, as the mom of four jocks, this is hard to accept, but times are hard, so I have to accept this, because sports are not the top priority.

But reading and literacy is the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION!!


Despite 60 STUDIES that show a direct and irrefutable correlation between literacy & the presence of full-time, certified librarians, school districts across the country have eliminated school librarian jobs. Why? Maybe they are not afraid of librarians and the people who care about books.

They should be. ::cues ominous music::

They are trying to cut ANOTHER school librarian from MY district. I’m going to a school board meeting tomorrow night. Have you fought for America’s children recently? I will adore you if you show up at a school board meeting and testify and pound your shoe on the table for full-time, certified school librarians.

Why should you care about this? In those schools where the libraries remain open, but without librarians, parent-volunteers have to filled the void. And reading scores go down.

And here is the latest: math scores are up. Reading scores are not.


We have not asked parent volunteers to teach math class. But we have asked them to run the school libraries when we cut back, then eliminate school librarian jobs.

Parents are qualified to be parents, not librarians.

If you care about the future of America’s children, you’ll fight for certified, full-time librarians in every school. Do you disagree?

Happy National Library Workers Day!!!

Today is National Library Workers Day!

Hug your librarian. Worship her. Buy him lunch. Tell all the librarians in your life how important they are. Then go and tell their bosses because we all need libraries that are staffed with passionate, qualified librarians.

And here is another pithy quote from me: 
"Every town deserves a library.
Every school deserves a library.
Every library needs a librarian.
What are you doing to make this happen?"

“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!