NJASL Info Literacy Bill Goes to the Governor

It's official. The New Jersey School Library Association's information literacy bill S588 has passed the state Senate and House and moves on to the Governor to sign it into law! This is a banner day for students across New Jersey as these new Info Lit standards - with school librarians at the forefront - begin to be written. 

S588 passed the Senate in its third reading 36-0. Mary Moyer Stubbs, NJASL's legislative advocate, says, "NJASL is beyond thrilled to have this bill move through the legislative process and be one step closer to becoming public law. This has been in the works since 2016," says Moyer Stubbs. "As an organization, NJASL has learned how to navigate the legislative process and build coalitions. We have had such great support from other groups including NJLA (where the bill had its first origins), EveryLibrary, NJEA (and specifically Fran Pfeffer), Media Literacy Now (Olga Polites), Garden State Coalition of Schools, Save Our Schools NJ, NJPSA, NJASA, NJ School Boards, CS4NJ, and the School Nurses Association."

NJASL President Ewa Dziedzic-Elliott adds, "Having Information Literacy as an NJ Student Learning Standard gives strength to the need for the instruction and implementation of Information Literacy. As stated in the Bill #S588: 'Information Literacy means a set of skills that enables an individual to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Information literacy includes, but is not limited to, digital, visual, media, textual, and technological literacy'. Passing the bill, and incorporating it into NJ law, affirms the role school librarians play in our schools and validates their strong presence in the fabric of the NJ education system." 

The New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL), EveryLibrary, and the coalition is thrilled to see S588 pass this week. EveryLibrary is proud to have supported the NJASL Information Literacy Bill Coalition for several legislative sessions. This support included several petitions on the SaveSchoolLibrarians.org digital advocacy platform to the legislature, targeted media relations, and paid ads on social media about calls to action for the campaign. Over 2,200 school library stakeholders across the Garden State took action about S588 / A4169 in 2021 and 2022 sessions.

NJASL would like to thank Senators Testa and Turner for sponsoring the Senate version and Assemblyman Daniel Benson and Assemblywomen Pam Lampitt and Mila Jasey for sponsoring the Assembly version. Without their support for the goals of the legislation, this would not be possible.

Information Literacy is at the core of their ability to be civically engaged, socially aware, and ethically centered in a very turbulent media and political world. New Jersey students will be the beneficiaries of this important standard. In this new standard, all students will have equitable access to how to navigate and evaluate the masses of information that they face every day. The bill’s key goals are creating standards so students can learn to evaluate information critically and competently, recognize relevant primary and secondary information, and distinguish between facts, points of view, and opinions.  

EveryLibrary supports our state library association partners with technical assistance and strategic support like petitions, social media strategy, and legislative strategy. All of our work is pro-bono and supported by our donors. If you believe in this kind of measurable and effective ecosystem building, please consider becoming a donor today