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Commentary from Texas -- another aspect to add to the mix -- the REAL danger in 
losing building-level professional librarians.

All of you have heard of the Texas State Board of Education's effort to change 
Texas curricula to promote a particular ideology. The Texas SBOE wants to remove 
from history curricula anything that supports separation of church and state 
(Thomas Jefferson, to be exact); they have taken the mention of Tejanos (original 
Latino landowners) who fought in the Alamo against the Mexicans from the history 
curriculum; they want to add to the curriculum Phyllis Schaffley who traveled 
around the country to advocate "the little woman at home" as opposition to gender 
equality in the workforce; they want to rewrite history so that Senator Joseph 
McCarthy's witch-hunt as a heroic effort that saved the USA from communism; and 
they want creationism taught in science classes.

With the removal of professional Library Media Specialists from the districts, who 
will SELECT the books that are available to youngsters? Will it be teachers who 
already are overloaded with time-consuming responsibilities? Will it be building 
principals who should be spending their time building a school climate that 
promotes lifetime learning? Will it be some local board of elected officials who 
have a definite religious bias? 

Librarians are taught to select QUALITY, RELIABLE materials that are enjoyable, yet 
promote learning. Without that professional as a part of the faculty, will the 
media purchaser fall for some slick sales pitch or buy from publishers and 
producers that promote only certain points-of-view?

Is removing the professional Library Media Person one more step to control what 
youngsters read and think?

Another example that you may want to use:

Back when the winter olympics were held in Iceland, I was watching the opening 
events. We all know that back then (1980s?), Iceland was considered to have one of 
the highest literacy rates in the world. A reporter arrived before the games began 
to document human interest stories in preparation for the olympics. He said he got 
into a taxi cab and told the driver to take him to their "most important building." 
That taxi driver took him to the library, a magnificent, impressive structure. 
Where would a taxi driver in Texas or Oklahoma have taken the reporter? Would it 
have been to a library?

In the United States, we are willing to pay for what we value. We can look at a 
society and know what is important to them by what they are willing to pay for.

Good luck, librarians in Oklahoma. I fear Texas is next.

Betty Dawn
Betty Dawn Hamilton (Using retired years to keep up with current events!)
LMS (Middle & High School)
Brownfield, TX

----- Original Message ----- 

This email came this afternoon (Sunday) from the Oklahoma Association of School 
Library Media Specialists (OASLMS)  and I wanted to share it with Oklahoma School 
librarians---and everyone who can help.  *The Oklahoma State Legislature will vote 
on HB 3029 tomorrow.*

It's now or never....


*Subject:* Media Specialists Legislative Alert

*Urgent Legislative Alert!*

Call your State Senator before 1:30 p.m. on Monday at *(405) 524-0126* to protect 
Oklahoma school libraries and school media specialist certification!

*Ask your Senator to vote “no” on  HB 3029*

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