Opportunity in the Midst of Chaos: School Librarians as Change Agents Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated many inequities faced by specific student subgroups in schools across the United States. The sudden shift from brick-and-mortar to virtual learning has left many students of color to experience a loss in learning due to technology connectivity issues, resource deprivation, health disparities, and other pervasive issues that inhibit them from participating in high-quality educational experiences. While this crisis has resulted in devastating consequences for students, families, and communities, it has also provided a unique opportunity for educational professionals to recommit ourselves to improving educational outcomes for all students. In this keynote address, Dr. Lisa Grillo discusses the challenges that students of color have faced during the pandemic, the systemic conditions that led to these challenges, and culturally responsive strategies school librarians may take in efforts to create equitable schools for all students.