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Driving Education Greatness

Steve Hargadon: SJSU iSchool: “Deaf Community and Culture and Best Practices for Libraries” + “Supporting Libraries and Reading in School

Steve Hargadon: SJSU iSchool: “Deaf Community and Culture and Best Practices for Libraries” + “Supporting Libraries and Reading in School




Welcome (1 – 1:10 p.m. Pacific Time)

Opening Keynote Address ( 1:10 – 1:40 p.m. Pacific Time)

  • Joan Naturale, NTID Librarian, Rochester Institute of Technology

Presentation on Libraries and the Deaf Community ( 1:40 – 2:10 p.m. Pacific Time)

  • Alice Hagemeyer, Librarian and current leader of Bridging Deaf Cultures, an interest group of the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services.

Library Services to the Deaf Community Panel Discussion (2:10 – 2:40 p.m. Pacific Time)

  • Danica Rice, Head Librarian, Luce J. LeBlanc Memorial Library, Springfield Oregon
  • Rosa Rodriguez, Deaf Literacy Center Manager, Pinellas County Library, Florida
  • Marti Goddard, Access Services Manager, San Francisco Public Library

Concluding Remarks (2:40 – 3 p.m. Pacific Time)

  • Anthony Chow, Director, SJSU School of Information



Deaf History Month EDI Symposium






Dear iSchool Family,

As the new Director of the iSchool, many of you know that my educational roots reside in developmental and educational psychology – the study of healthy development with a focus on human cognition. Of course, libraries play an essential role in this healthy development across our life span. The greatest gift we can provide anyone is the superpower of reading and literacy.

As the largest MLIS provider in the nation (if not the world), we are strong and committed to social justice and supporting the unyielding and usually unseen work that libraries do for the people they serve. Collectively, we are in all 50 states, and in all cities and counties in California. I believe we have a social responsibility to leverage our strong collective voice to help libraries, especially on behalf of our children who are our future. We must act and use our collective voice for the good of our communities and society in general.

I am writing to you today as the children and schools of California need your help. Within the context of significant budget surpluses, California Assembly Bill 2465 (AB 2465), the Pupil Instruction: Third Grade Literacy legislation has been proposed and is going to be voted on next Wed. 4/20. We need your help in reaching out to your respective legislators to ask for their support. I have attached the legislation as well.

AB 2465, will update school library standards and will provide a dedicated fund that will provide grants to school districts in support of their libraries.

Despite being the largest state in the nation and representing 12% of the entire US population and with an economy that is the 5th largest in the world, California has the dubious distinction of being dead last:


California is 50th in Teacher-Librarians per student and number of fully staffed school libraries per school.



In particular, we need you to focus on your member as a constituent PLUS the members of the education committee:

Committee Members District Office & Contact Information District Contact Form Social Media Mailing Address Phone
Patrick O’Donnell (Chair) Dem Dem – 70 Contact Form https://twitter.com/asmpatodonnell Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 4510
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0070;
(916) 319-2070
Megan Dahle (Vice Chair) Rep Rep – 01 Contact Form https://twitter.com/asmmegandahle Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 5710
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0001;
(916) 319-2001
Steve Bennett Dem – 37 Dem – 37 Contact Form https://twitter.com/asmstevebennett Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 4140
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0037;
(916) 319-2037
Phillip Chen Rep – 55 Rep – 55 Contact Form https://twitter.com/phillipchenca Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 4620
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0055;
(916) 319-2055
Alex Lee Dem – 25 Dem – 25 Contact Form https://twitter.com/alex_lee Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 6330
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0025;
(916) 319-2025
Kevin McCarty Dem Dem – 07 Contact Form https://twitter.com/kevinmccartyca Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 4250
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0007;
(916) 319-2007
Sharon Quirk-Silva Dem Dem – 65 Contact Form https://twitter.com/quirk_silva Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 4210
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0065;
(916) 319-2065

Here’s what we need you to do by no later than next Wed. 4/20:

1) Write and submit a letter to your member of the California Assembly (find yours here) and use that same letter to send to each of the members on the education committee.

  • Note: just use a version of your letter to submit through each legislator’s online contact form.
  • Note: Emphasize that you are a constituent when applicable

2) Submit your formal letter to the entire committee through their system:

  1. Go to the Assembly website at www.assembly.ca.gov and click on the options for “Committees.”
  2. Select “Education” and that will allow you to access the site to “Submit Position Letter.” If you have never submitted before you will have to follow the instructions in order to log into the system and set up a password.
  3. Submit your letter

3) Tweet them using their Twitter handles provided above or here.

4) Call them and ask for them to support AB 2465

5) If you are close enough, visit them at their offices either in Sacramento or in your home town.

Special thanks to our iSchool advocacy interns Cybell Garcia Koehl, Heidi Miller, and Leigh Carroll for their work on putting this altogether. Here are some recommendations for your own letter as well as the formal letter I am sending to the committee and my own legislator:

1. In the body of your letter/form submission, answer the following:

  • Who are you?
  • Why do you support this legislation?
  • How has a school librarian helped you, your students, or your children?
  • Keep your letter to 1-3 paragraphs long.

2. Here is some information that may help you make your argument:

  • California is ranked 50th in Teacher-Librarians per student and number of fully staffed school libraries per school (https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_213.20.asp)
  • A well-staffed elementary school library has a positive impact on literacy, specifically, reading by third grade. A study found that, “those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. For the worst readers, those (below) basic skills by third grade, the rate is nearly six times greater” (https://www.aecf.org/resources/double-jeopardy).
  • Having a school library is often an equity issue. Schools and school districts with more money are more likely to have school libraries (https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED581060.pdf).

3. See our iSchool letter of support.

Final words of advice, use stories and data in your communication. Personalize it to yourself or others and ALWAYS be respectful and polite.

If you have never done this type of advocacy, I assure you that this is one of the most patriotic acts you can perform and one of the reasons our nation is truly one of the greatest in the world. As the son of Chinese immigrants, I know the sacrifices my parents made to come to this country for a better quality of life and the freedom to express their ideas and opinions. They have always told me to NEVER take it for granted.

I ask that all members of the SJSU iSchool family join me in fighting for libraries and a better quality of life for the children of California, especially those who have no one else to stand up for them. We have a unique opportunity but that window is closing fast.

Let’s do this.

Respectfully yours,


Anthony S. Chow, PhD
Director and Professor, School of Information
San José State University