[Libs-Or] OLA Legislative Day -- Information Literacy email/talking points template

Emily Ford fordemily at gmail.com
Tue Apr 2 13:38:26 PDT 2013

Hi Oregon Library Community,
As I wrote yesterday the OLA Library Development and Legislative Committee
has warmly invited you to participate in OLA Legislative Day on Monday,
April 8th. For more information regarding the schedule, please visit the
OLA Legislative Network Wiki's page on OLA Legislative Day.

For those of you unable to visit Salem on Monday, we hoped you may consider
participating by phoning or emailing your Senators and Representatives. The
first of four issues we would like to discuss on Legislative Day is that of
Information Literacy. OLA has an issue brief accessible online at:

Below is a template that you can use to email your representatives about
this important topic. Please consider using this template to email your
state legislators on Monday.



April 8, 2013

Dear   _______________,

I am writing today to ask you to support the critical role school and
academic libraries play in Oregon’s K-20 educational curriculum.

Information literacy—a term used by libraries to describe students’
abilities identify, evaluate, and use information that is useful,
meaningful, and accurate—is just as important to Oregon’s students as
reading, writing, math and science. Information literacy is central to
student success from kindergarten through graduate school. Students who are
information literate become successful members of our communities and of
the work force.

Yet, school and academic libraries face challenges to providing information
literacy instruction and services in K-20 education. Funding cuts in
education have eliminated many professional librarian positions, replacing
them with library staff that is not trained as librarians; and limited use
of accountability standards among schools provide it difficult to create
and maintain strong library and information literacy programs. Moreover,
the State and our colleges and universities need to continuously and
systematically assess how information literacy is achieved beyond 12thgrade.

Research shows that investing in information literacy as a critical skill
increases student achievement and improves education for all students. As a
result, students will be better able to engage in civic and work life.
Information literacy is critical in closing the digital divide among
citizens and plays a leading role in reducing equities in our society.

I urge you to support school and academic libraries by:

   - making library funding a priority;
   - pushing for school use of accountability standards for information
   literacy programs;
   - and asking the State, colleges and universities to systematically
   assess information literacy programs and achievements beyond the 12thgrade.

As a librarian and as your constituent, I have seen the negative impact
that decreased funding for libraries has on Oregon’s students. Your support
would mean that librarians, like me, would be able to better help Oregon’s
students succeed as Oregon citizens.

Thank you for your time.

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