In the fall of 2000 without any advance notice, OELMA found out that the requirements
for school librarians were to be slashed yet again with the implementation of new
Operating Standards in 2002. OELMA's leaders immediately began working with leaders
from Ohio's school library community to advocate for strong school libraries to serve
Ohio's students. The core strategy group became Ohio's Leadership for School Libraries.
In addition to laying the a foundation upon which OELMA's advocacy efforts have been
built, L4SL steered Ohio's work with Dr. Ross Todd on the Ohio Study and led to the
development of Ohio's Evidence Based Practice Training Module. One of the key
components of the L4SL strategy was to work to gain a school library presence and
understanding in Ohio's educational community. We never again wanted to be surprised
by completed operating standards or other initiatives that would impede our efforts to
provide Ohio's school children the learning opportunities and services that they need and
to which they are entitled.
This leadership had a firm foundation in advocacy efforts prior to 2000. OELMA's
history documents a strong history in advocacy, dating back to the 1970s. Many past
presidents such as Dorothy Ann Ellis, Betty Wolford, Kim Miller-Smith, Sheila Gross
Benedum and Barbara Tope made advocacy efforts priorities during their tenures.
Barbara Tope and Sarahjane Holzhauer presented a series of advocacy workshops in
During nearly a decade since the announcement of the updated standards, OELMA has
been fortunate to have strong partnerships with organizations like INFOhio and
unexpected partnerships like ILILE to build upon. Many things have been being put in
place in Ohio and other opportunities have come available during this time and have been
utilized in a strategic manner. Our commitment and advocacy focus has allowed us to
utilize our opportunities during this time period.
Most important, Ohio's school librarians have been willing to do more than speak up for
Ohio's children, they have taken action. They have attended trainings, participated in the
Ohio Study, attended and implemented Evidence Based Practice, have hosted state and
national decision makers in their libraries and answered numerous calls to action. One
voice would not have been heard. A few voices would have been drowned out. But
working together for our students and their futures, made a difference. This timeline
provides an overview of our efforts.
Over these years, we have had people give testimony to legislative committees and
attended State Board of Education meetings.
OELMA has utilized the services of a legislative advisor, who works on our behalf to
make sure we are aware of legislative issues that may impact Ohio's school librarians.
OELMA' Advocacy Committee has worked closely with association leaders on advocacy
Created sample letters.
Provided talking points.
Offered grassroots lobbying tips and training.
Put out calls to action to contact members of the legislature.
Worked with Ohio Department of Education.
The Time Line:
2000-01 Ohio's new school Operating Standards became available, but not officially
in place. These Operating Standards significantly reduced requirements for certified lms.
2000 OELMA leaders and members testified to the Ohio School Board regarding
the educational role of school libraries in a effort to change the operating standards, but it
was too late.
2001 Ohio’s Leadership for School Libraries included representation from
INFOhio, State Library of Ohio, OELMA, & Ohio Department of Education- this group
They developed strategies that guided the Ohio Study and the EBP
Strategy - Math, science, LA, & SS teachers are not quantified in
the operating standards, but they are in the content standards; if we
have standards, there needs to be someone to teach them.
2001 Babara Tope began the first school library staffing survey.
2001 OELMA leadership worked for legislation for professionally staffed school
librarians- legislation was drafted, but dropped during the legislative process.
2001 OELMA's Board votes in motion to work towards having a certified library
media specialist in every Ohio school.
2001 School library leadership works to encourage/promote the inclusion of
certified library media specialists on ODE committees and standard writing teams
This strategy goes back to the concept of if what is to be taught is
mandated, then there must be teachers to teach it.
Also, leaders wanted to ensure, if there were projects like the
revision of the standards in the future, we would not find out too
They were trying to ensure that we would be involved in these
types of issues on the ground floor.
2001 Work began on Ohio's K-12 School Library Standards/Guidelines
July 1, 2002 Ohio Operating Standards take effect.
2002 Work began on Ohio's K-12 Technology Academic Content Standards-
Including the Information Literacy Strand.
2002 Work on the Ohio Research Study began.
2003 OELMA produced video- Your School Library, It's All About Learning-
mailed to every school district in Ohio
2003-2005 ILILE - Began helping Ohio LMS strengthen integration of standards
through collaborative partnerships.
While this was an "unplanned" resource, it contributed
significantly to the overall situation. Strategy - strong programs to
advocate for and with.
2003 Ohio's K-12 Technology Academic Content Standards are adopted.
2003 ILILE sponsored teams of teachers and librarians attending OELMA. They
attended Ross Todd's Keynote announcing the preliminary findings of the Ohio Study.
2003-2004 OELMA updated the school library staffing survey.
2004 Ohio's K-12 School Library Standards/Guidelines published. The K-12
School Library Standards/Guidelines are the only set of standards with a Media Literacy
Strand. They also include Information and Technology strands.
2004 OELMA began providing a variety of trainings and presentations related
2004 OELMA Advocacy presents Advocating with the Study: Evidence-Based
Practice and Advocacy at Midwinter along with presentations on Understanding and
Using the Ohio Study by EBP developers Gayle Geitgey and Ann Tepe.
2004 OELMA sent Advocacy Chair to National Library Legislative Day to share
information about the Ohio Study with national legislative leaders.
2004 OELMA collaborates with INFOhio to conduct Advocacy Day at the Ohio
2005 Then Congressman, Ted Strickland, delivered a keynote speech at OELMA
2005 EBP Training- Workshops begin and trainers are trained.
Strategy - Build strong programs to advocate for and with. Collect
evidence of student learning and improve practice through
2005-2006 Advocacy Co-Chairs recommend expanding advocacy leadership and
sharing advocacy responsibilities. Also, suggests strengthening communication with
2006 TRAILS made available to assess student learning
Strategy - Collect evidence of student learning and improve
practice through assessment.
2007 Advocacy brochure developed under then OELMA President, Vicky
Schmarr. The governor and new members of the legislature were the primary target
2007 Letter from OELMA president to Governor Strickland congratulating him on
becoming governor and stressing the important role that Ohio's certified school librarians
play in educating students for the 21st Century.
2007 OELMA Launched the current Library Staffing Survey.
2007 Kate Brunswick and Vicky Schmarr meet with Ken Kay and others at an
exploratory meeting regarding the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
2007 OELMA Advocacy Panel presented at Midwinter.
2007/08 Kathy Halsey, Vicky Schmarr and Kari Inglis attends Public Education
2007/08 Kathy Halsey attends Board of Education Meetings.
2008 OELMA Board invites Advocacy Committee members to be part of the
strategic plan and makes advocacy a primary focus of the association.
The strategic plan:
Strengthens communication between the OELMA
Executive Board and the Advocacy Committee.
Expands the advocacy committee.
Provides prioritized action plans.
2008 Kathy Halsey represents Ohio's school libraries at the Governor's Institute on
Creativity and Innovation in Education.
2008 OELMA Exec Board strategically sends members to different areas of the
state for Governor's sessions about education. Sarah Thornbery is called upon at the
Dayton meeting and expresses the link between certified library media specialists and
increased student achievement.
Sep. 2008 INFOhio's 12-13 Transition Task Force publishes White Paper- Preparing
21st Century Ohio Learners for Success. The 12-13 Task Force is made up of INFOhio
staff members, academic librarians and school library media specialists.
Feb. 2009 HB 1 has language that includes 21st Century student literacies- including
media and information literacy. Calls for a "Media Services Factor"
Mar. 2009 Advocacy and OELMA's Executive Board write testimony to be given at
House Finance Committee hearings to change "Media Service Factor" to "Licensed
Librarian and Media Specialist" Factor.
Spring 2009 Advocacy and the Executive Board create talking points for contacting
member of the legislature.
May 2009 Advocacy and OELMA's Executive Board write testimony given by Past
President Kathy Halsey to the Senate Education Committee.
May 2009 Terri Fredricka meets with Ken Kay and others at a dinner regarding the
Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
May 2009 Call for action on ALAO's list serve to support school librarians.
Jun. 2009 State Library of Ohio contacted by Advocacy Committee and State Library
of Ohio Board issues a statement of support for funding School Library Media Specialists
in Ohio's budget.
June 2009 Board joint statement in support of library funding with ALAO.
July 2009 House Bill 1 is law.
July 2009 OELMA urges school librarians from across the state to thank members of
the state legislature and Governor Ted Strickland for securing these essential learning
opportunities for our students. How did your state representative or senator vote?
Contacting members of the Ohio Senate. Contacting members of the Ohio House.
Contacting Governor Strickland. Hand written thank you notes are particularly effective
ways to thank state level leaders.
July- indefinite Ohio's advocacy efforts continue.
Please contact Deb Logan - firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie Sabol - SabolM@hudson.edu
with information to be added to this timeline.