Woodrow Wilson High School Library, Portland, OR
Why are School Libraries Important?
According to research done in 2011 by the New York Comprehensive Center, school libraries have helped to improve teacher effectiveness through collaboration; greatly enhanced literacy skills and resulted in higher performance on standardized assessments for elementary students; increased graduation rates for at-risk students, through personalized instruction, networks of support, and access to 21st century technology and technological skills; improved student achievement in school environments where school librarians assist in the alignment of curriculum to state standards and in school-wide professional development activities; and an increase of librarians in school libraries tends to correlate with overall higher school assessment results.
How has a School Librarian or Library Impacted You?
I have visited school libraries in other states and have seen ideas and materials in action that I had thought about using or doing. For instance, this past summer, I visited my alma mater high school, and the librarian there gave me a demonstration of a 3D printer, and also talked about ideas for a MakerSpace and told me about an almost virtual book club. I’ve also gained new ideas from other librarian teachers for organizing freshmen orientation, research projects, and literature promotion. Teacher-librarians really provide an abundance of helpful and useful information.
How Does the Work of School Libraries Impact Your Work as a Library Professional or Person?
Librarians are at the forefront of understanding how to access and assess information from online sources. The wealth of information available through online subscription databases can be overwhelming, but through the instruction and assistance of a school librarian, people can learn to locate, evaluate and utilize information from a variety of resources. School librarians also are a treasure trove of knowledge about new fiction and nonfiction materials for both academic and recreational purposes.
For the first time we are seeing strong language protecting School Libraries in national education policy. ESEA is up for a vote and this bill will be CRUCIAL to the future of school libraries, a section of the profession that has been under assault for decades. An Assault on One is an Assault on ALL. Stand up for School Libraries in America TODAY!
- Contact your Representative to let them know how essential this bill is to our children’s education and futures.
- Contact absolutely everyone you know and ask them to do the same thing.
- Vote Yes on the Every Student Succeeds Act Conference Report.
- School libraries are critical to our children’s future and the Conference Report includes critical language to support effective school library programs.
This language is historic: For the first time in half a century Congress has underscored the importance of effective school library programs by expressly including them in multiple parts of this watershed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Join the movement to protect school libraries and call Congress today.