September 26, 2016

Petition Supporting School Libraries Needs 14,000 Signatures for White House Response


November 25 Update: The petition has 10,178 signatures, 14,822 are needed by Nov. 27 for a response from President Obama

The Obama administration asked and teacher-librarian Seanean Shanahan answered the call. On the new “We the People” Web platform, where citizens can create petitions, the Inglewood, CA-based Shanahan has launched a request that “school libraries be properly staffed, open, and available for children every day.”

It’s garnered 4,586 signatures to date, but 20, 414 more must be logged by November 27 in order to get a response from President Obama.

From a story posted yesterday on

Shanahan says her state is woefully underfunded and “some estimates take us now to 6,000 students or more for every one qualified school librarian. We need help. We need hope. Can you help us?”

Shanahan says the president took action following an online petition to forgive student loan debt to stimulate the economy, so she’s hoping for similar results when it comes to school librarians.

Since launching in late September, petitions posted to “We the People” have included one concerning the existence of space aliens and no fewer than six proposals on marijuana legalization.



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On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
Kathy Ishizuka About Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka (, @kishizuka on Twitter) is Executive Editor of School Library Journal.


  1. What’s the URL to sign the petition?

    • I couldn’t find it either. Do you think this might be the reason for there not being enough signatures!?!