About the MTA School Library Task Force
Purpose of the Task Force:
The MTA Task Force on Equity in PreK-12 School Libraries was the result of New Business Item #4, adopted by the MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates in May 2018. The Task Force was formed to gather data about the state of school library staffing in MTA locals, inspire MTA members to look into issues of inequitable access to licensed school librarians and library programs, and provide tools members can use for advocating and bargaining to remedy this inequity.
New Business Item #5, also approved at the 2018 MTA Annual Meeting, called for the MTA to endorse the recommendations in the report of the legislative Special Commission on School Library Services in Massachusetts, which stated, “All students deserve equitable access to key resources for learning, including school library with certified librarians and support staff.” The special commission found many inequities in Massachusetts’s students’ access to well‐funded school library programs staffed by licensed librarians. New Business Item #5 also called on the MTA to promote the commission’s report and recommendations through established MTA digital and print channels, and for leaders of the MTA to send a letter of support for these recommendations to the DESE and members of the Massachusetts Legislature.
Goals of the Task Force:
- Gather, review and analyze information from existing sources and from MTA locals about the availability and staffing patterns of libraries/learning commons for students attending preK-12 schools in Massachusetts.
- Include data about whether the libraries/learning commons are staffed by licensed librarians, non-licensed ESPs, other staff or volunteers.
- Generate a report detailing the findings of the task force’s analysis. Highlight patterns of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in the report.
- Publicize the results in existing MTA online and print media channels, and use the results to (1) promote school libraries staffed by professionally licensed librarians with ESP support staff and (2) campaign for the Fair Share Amendment.
- Create a toolkit for local associations to use in bargaining for professionally licensed school librarians and ESP support staff.
- Foster collaboration and coalition work between library organizations and the MTA, including helping to promote the recommendations made in “The Massachusetts School Library Study: Equity and Access for Students in the Commonwealth,” the  March 2018 report of the Legislative Special Commission on School Library Services.
Task Force Documents:
- Center for Education Policy and Practice, DESE Data
- MTA School Library Task Force Issue Brief (May 2019)
- SCHOOL LIBRARY STAFFING #DATAVIZDAY, The Policy Minute
- MTA calls for fully funded school libraries, MTA Today, Winter 2019, page 28
- MTA School Library Task Force Report
Task Force Members:
- Chair: Sue Doherty, Needham: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nora Acevedo, Brockton
- Maya Berry, Carlisle
- Kim Cochrane, Fitchburg
- Erin Dalbec, Newton
- Ted Intarabumrung, Roxbury Community College
- Leslie Lomasson (Amherst, retired)
- Claudia Palframan, Chicopee
- Alana Stern, Wachusetts Regional
- Christine Turner, UMass Amherst
- Beverly Miyares, Director, Center for Education Policy and Practice
- Gary Gilardi, Education Policy Specialist, Center for Education Policy and Practice