Please take a moment to call your Congressional Representative and Senator’s offices and ask that they cosponsor the SKILLs Act by signing on to Grijalva and Ehlers “Dear Colleague Letter.” This legislation is critical to the future of libraries.

On Thurs. Aug. 2, Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) sent a Dear Colleague letter asking Members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2864, The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries or SKILLs Act. This Act would encourage all schools to hire a professionally trained library media specialist (LMS) as well as include LMSs in the “highly qualified” category that classroom teachers are in. Without the “highly qualified” designation which was created as part of No Child Left Behind, schools have been opting out of hiring and/or retaining LMSs in recent years. As a result, youth are losing access to libraries and librarians.

More information, talking points and a copy of the letter are provided on the ALA Washington Office blog.

To find the phone number for your Congressperson’s office, go to and type in your zipcode in the box on the left.

Thank you for all that you do to ensure young people have access to excellent library services and resources!
-Beth Yoke

One Thought on “Call Your Congressperson Regarding SKILLs Act

  1. Christy Mulligan [Visitor] on August 3, 2007 at 10:44 am said:

    I would like to second Beth’s call for legislative action. Please call your elected officials and urge them to support this bill. The Skills Act is a much-needed and long-overdue piece of legislation that ensures that access to highly qualified and trained professionals in school libraries is not a privilege but a promise.

    For those of us who serve youth in public libraries, it may seem at first glance that this bill does not relate to our work and that it is not important for us to take action. This is most certainly not the case. It is critical that public librarians advocate for this bill. Reason number one is that students deserve and need access to highly trained and qualified media specialists and we must advocate on their behalf. But, in addition, we know that students’ lack of training in information literacy, research methods and technology use affects our own work, for we must try to reach these underserved youth in the public library and fill in this crucial gap in learning.

    Bottom line, we and the youth we serve cannot afford to have these critical educators absent from schools.

    Please take the time to call your Congressional Representatives’ and Senators’ offices and ask them to cosponsor the Skills Act. Be sure to take advantage of the legislative advocacy guide compiled by the YALSA Legislation Committee (

    Christy Mulligan, Chair, YALSA Legislation Committee

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