IASL President introduces 2011 theme

15 Oct 2011

Dear IASL Members,

October 1 marks the beginning of International School Library Month
(ISLM), and it is my pleasure to send you greetings on the occasion.

International School Library Month is intended to celebrate school
libraries. It is a time to showcase what school libraries have done and
what they can do for students. It is a time to bring attention to school
libraries. ISLM is a time to create awareness on the achievements and
the potential of school libraries.

The theme for ISLM this year is “School Libraries Empower Learners
for Life“. The theme can be interpreted in many ways, but whichever
way we choose, it underlies the importance of school libraries.

The ISLM Committee, under Marie O’Brien, has planned a number of
projects for this year. These include the Bookmark Project (continuation
from previous years), Skype Around the World (new for 2011), and
Facebook Friends in School Libraries Around the World (new for 2011).
For more information about ISLM and the projects for this year, please
go to http://www.iasl-online.org/events/islm/. There are many other ways
you can celebrate ISLM. To get an idea of some of the activities last
year, go to http://www.iasl-online.org/events/islm/2010a.htm

I hope that every member will do something for ISLM. One aspect that
needs attention is advocacy. At many of the conferences and meetings I
have attended over the past few months, the need for advocacy for school
libraries has been stressed over and over again. We need support for
school libraries. We need to persuade policy makers, principals,
teachers, parents, booksellers, technology vendors and many others to
support school libraries and give them the due recognition they deserve.
One avenue for reaching out to them is the mass media. We need the radio
and TV stations and newspapers on our side. Despite the growth of social
media, the traditional mass media still plays an important role in
reaching out to policy makers. Do something to get the attention of the
mass media on school libraries.

At the same time, use the social media to advocate for school libraries.
Use your social networking sites, blogs, professional networks, forums,
niche communities, photo and video sharing sites, podcasting
communities, and whatever else there is to spread the message about
school libraries. And while you are at it, do not forget the personal
human touch. Tell your Principal, your colleagues, your students, your
relatives and friends about the role of school libraries, and how they
empower learners.

As you celebrate ISLM, please let us know about it. You can publicize
your event through this IASL-LINK, or you can send the information (with
pictures if any) for the IASL web site. Send in your submissions on
“What people are doing for ISLM 2011” to IASL Web Manager, Karen Bonanno
at [email protected].

I wish you the very best for International School Library Month.

Best wishes,

Diljit Singh


International Association of School Librarianship

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October 2011