Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance Raises It's Voice at ALA Advocacy Rally Asking Congress to Support School and Public Libraries Across America!

NCBLA Board Authors and Staff  greet U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a Senate Library and Education Champion, at the ALA Library Advocacy Rally yesterday at the Capitol in Washington DC!

An energized coalition of NCBLA family and friends, joined NCBLA board authors Katherine Paterson, Steven Kellogg, Nikki Grimes, Linda Sue Park, M.T. Anderson, Mary Brigid Barrett (NCBLA President), and NCBLA Program Director Geri Eddins, adding a bit of color and zest to the sizzling ALA Capitol rally, Raise Your Voice for Libraries!

Pre-rally the NCBLA group rendezvoused at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. At left is Steven Kellogg, resplendent in a library advocacy hat he made especially for the rally! All the  children's book character rally posters were created by NCBLA President Mary Brigid Barrett, who in her non-NCBLA life is also an author and illustrator. 

United States National Ambassador for Children's Literature Katherine Paterson chats it up pre-rally with Former First Lady of Virginia, RIF literacy champion, and NCBLA adviser Lynda Johnson Robb. Mrs. Robb's father, President Lyndon Johnson, was the first president to support significant funding for our nation's public and school libraries, providing millions of books free to our nation's children.

Newbery-award winning author
Linda Sue Park ready to march to the rally!


Photo-op: New York Times best-selling author and poet Nikki Grimes with Katherine Paterson! Isn't that Linda Sue, too?!

The Rally!
NCBLA and friends on parade for kids and libraries!

National Book  award winning author M.T. (Tobin) Anderson arrives at the rally! Tobin--trying to keep his cool under a black umbrella-represented the NCBLA, making morning Congressional calls to his U.S. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, reminding them:
  • That Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) should be funded at $300 million to ensure the best possible library resources for our children and all Americans.
  • That Improving Literacy Through School Libraries should be funded at $100 million to best prepare students for the 21st century workforce.
  •  That every school needs a fully-funded school library staffed by a full-time state certified school librarian.
  • That every library needs state and local professional development funds to recruit and train school librarians.
  • To support the Access to Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3101 and S. 3304)
  • To support a free and open Internet for all by voting in favor of net neutrality. 

NCBLA authors Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, Steven Kellogg, and Mary Brigid Barrett are joined by NCBLA friends, including Sharon Hancock and Jenny Choy from library champion, publisher Candlewick Press! The NCBLA was thrilled that many Children's Literature New England and the Childrens' Book Guild of Washington DC friends joined us-- Barbara Scotto, Rita Auerbach, Kathy Roche, Anne O'Donnell, Jacqueline Jules, and so many more-- on this glorious day raising their voices for kids and libraries!

NCBLA adviser and former ALSC President Therese Bigelow and NCBLA's children's literature consultant Maria Salvadore and son Nick, discuss the days' events with M.T. Anderson. 

The NCBLA authors, joined forces with the American Library Association's Advocacy staff, meeting with their state's Senators and House Representatives both before and after the rally, letting them know that libraries and librarians are necessities, not luxuries, in our children's lives. We need to make sure that all of our children have ready access to school and public libraries, that those libraries are  staffed with knowledgeable librarians who can help our kids obtain essential critical thinking tools, providing them with the information they need to work and live in this new century.  


Children's literacy consultant and NCBLA friend Rachel Walker just sent us these terrific new rally photos! Thanks Rachel!