News and Announcements

SIS Associate Professor Kafi Kumasi speaks at SXSW

March 13, 2019

On March 5, SIS Associate Professor Kafi Kumasi was a featured speaker on a policy panel at the SXSW EDU conference. The four-person panel called "Why is the Largest Classroom in the School Empty?" focused on how districts and states should re-engage school library programs and school librarians for equity and student achievement.

With the change from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the role of school librarians and effective school library programs are integrated into federal education policy. Studies show that library programs staffed by certified school librarians have a significant positive impact on student achievement. This moderated panel of national experts explored policy recommendations on how to improve student learning outcomes, increase equity and enhance PD while leveraging grant and federal funding through libraries.

For those unfamiliar with SXSW or SXSW EDU, the SXSW EDU Conference and Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a community of optimistic, forward-thinking, purpose-driven stakeholders with a shared goal of impacting the future of teaching and learning. It features a diverse array of speakers, sessions, workshops, learning experiences, policy discussions and film screenings programmed to foster learning and discovery for all education stakeholders. With over 15,000 attendees, this conference takes place right before the even larger SXSW conference, a 10-day conference and festival focused on exploring what's next in the worlds of film, culture, music and technology. Last year, over 72,000 people attended the main conference!