If you have a chance to meet with your Senator, or Senator’s staff person, during District Days (August 8th through September 5th), please urge them to co-sponsor S. 1328, the SKILLS (Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries) Act.

The SKILLS Act is about funding the improvement of literacy (including digital literacy) and education through school libraries, including increasing the number of school librarians in the library.

If you are not able to meet with your Senator in person, and even if you are, please use this quick and easy link to encourage his or her support.’ Sustained requests are needed to convince a majority of Senators to co-sponsor the SKILLS Act. This will ensure that school libraries will be part of any federal legislation on education.

After being introduced in early July, S. 1328 was referred to the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The HELP Committee will not start looking at education legislation until September. We need to work now to get more co-sponsor support so that when the Senate HELP Committee does take up education legislation, school libraries are included.

Senators who already sponsor the bill are: Jack Reed (D-RI), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Patti Murray (D-WA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). If you live in any of these states, please thank your senator for their support.

Please encourage everyone you know who has a stake in libraries to participate. Although many of us are not school librarians ourselves, this legislation will affect the entire library “eco-system.”

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