February 17, 2018

Ann Dutton Ewbank | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Activists

Ann Dutton Ewbank, Arizona State University, PhoenixTireless

Ann Dutton Ewbank takes education seriously. A former high school teacher, teacher-librarian, and now education liaison for Arizona State University, she attempts to educate everyone—especially city, state, and national legislators—about the role librarians play in developing 21st-century literacies in today’s students. Earlier this year, she and her colleagues launched a campaign called Fund Our Future Arizona (www.fundourfuturearizona.org) to prevent the 78 certified school librarians serving the 75,000 students in Mesa, AZ, schools from being replaced by clerks. Though the grassroots effort drew widespread local media coverage and was highlighted at the 2008 American Library Association (ALA) conference in Anaheim, CA, it ultimately failed. “I hope that someday Mesa will come to realize that eliminating librarians was detrimental to students,” she says.

At the national level, too, Ewbank is planting flags for school librarians. As an Arizona delegate for the AASL Affiliate Assembly, she was part of a group that brought policy concerns of school librarians to ALA’s attention. “We saw these concerns move from the ‘grass roots to the tall trees’ as they made their way through the ALA governance structure…and ended up as official [ALA] policy stances,” she says. As a result, in 2007 the ALA Washington Office lobbied for the SKILLs Act, which would amend No Child Left Behind to encourage school districts to staff every school library with a certified teacher-librarian. The bill, in a House committee, awaits action.

But if it fails, you can expect Ewbank to be back at it. “Ann is nothing if not persistent,” says Kerrlita Westrick, a librarian with Arizona’s Litchfield Elementary School District. “She never gives up.”


Arizona State University, Phoenix

POSITION Education Liaison Librarian

DEGREE Ph.D. in Philosophy, 2005, and Master’s in Arts, Information Resources and Library Science, 2001, both Arizona State University