A Preview of Our #FReadom to Read Poster | From the Editor

In our May issue, you’ll find an 18-by-24-inch poster promoting the freedom to read. Famed artist Rafael López created the warm, hopeful image, which ­conveys the power of reading to open minds and hearts.

Each spring, I get to make a call and inform a stellar person that they have been named School Librarian of the Year. It is one of the best parts of my job. Even better is sharing their good work with the world.

On behalf of the team, and our partner and sponsor of the award since its inception, Scholastic, we are pleased to feature K.C. Boyd, 2022 School Librarian of the Year, and finalists Pia Alliende and Andy Spinks. Congratulations!

“Look for the helpers”—Mr. Rogers’s advice to children has been excoriated of late as a message deemed inappropriate for adults, who should be the helpers, critics say. But the evolution toward goodness in action is aided, I believe, by witnessing exemplars. And there’s a lot here to take inspiration from.

The 2022 honorees span geography, grade range, and the makeup of families served, but Boyd, ­Alliende, and Spinks share a singular, remarkable quality: unwavering attention to a larger vision.

From stocking the library with LGBTQIA+ ­resources for her school’s pride club to helping lead an advocacy campaign that resulted in the restoration of full-time librarians to 36 DC schools, “it’s a lot I’m involved with, but it’s for good reasons,” Boyd told Andrew Bauld, who wrote our cover story, which doesn’t sidestep the challenges our honorees have faced. “When you do these things, it leads back to the kids and serving kids more effectively,” she says.

I can’t see this sort of example enough. And I hope their stories will inspire the library, publishing, and education communities, and you, dear reader, in reinforcing what truly matters. Especially now, we could all use some uplifting news. And knowing there are others who are on your side is important, critical even, especially for kids.

That’s the thinking behind our latest project.

Rafael Lopez poster art previewIn our May issue, you’ll find an insert, an 18-by-24-inch poster promoting the freedom to read. Famed artist and children’s book illustrator Rafael López created the warm, hopeful image, which ­conveys the power of reading to open minds and hearts.

The support of Penguin Random House has made this ­offering possible. Thank you to PRH and fellow partners in this effort: the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America#FReadom Fighters, and sister publication Library Journal.

On April 13, we’ll present a free webcast “­Fighting Censorship: Tips & Resources for Countering ­Challenges to Books.” Our expert panel: K.C. Boyd; Dr. Ann David, NCTE Standing Committee Against Censorship; Dr. Christine Emeran, director, Youth Free Expression Program, National Coalition Against Censorship; Martha Hickson, school librarian, NJ; and ­Kristin Pekoll, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association.

We hope you’ll join us.


Author Image
Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing