school libraries introduce k-12 students to information literacy when they most need it

Nicole Pagowsky
University of Arizona Libraries

Why are School Libraries Important?
School libraries introduce K-12 students to information literacy when they most need it. If students are first learning about how to find, use, and evaluate information when they are coming into college, it’s a big hurdle. With an enormous amount of info out in the world, students need school librarians even more than they did in the past to teach them how to navigate the deluge of resources.

How has a School Librarian or Library Impacted You?
Every single school librarian impacts me as an academic librarian because they are teaching the students I get at the college level about information literacy. Their impact is felt by faculty on campus as well, as students come in with varying levels of information literacy, depending on if they had a school librarian or not in K-12. Learning about information literacy early on prepares students for success in college for thinking critically, completing assignments, and learning how to interact with information in the world and in their chosen fields.

How Does the Work of School Libraries Impact Your Work as a Library Professional or Person?
Again, if students are introduced to information literacy in K-12, they come into college with a huge advantage by being ready to engage in research, complete assignments well, and participate in scholarly communication as academics and/or professionals as they move toward their careers. The abilities that students bring into college affects my work as an information literacy educator because it is hard to engage students in complex thinking if they don’t have that baseline of information literacy knowledge that they should when arriving at college. Not having this baseline knowledge also makes it more difficult for faculty to do their job in pushing students into new ways of thinking. We all–students, academic librarians, and faculty–need school librarians and libraries!

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!

Find your Elected Official in the House

  1.       Contact your Representative to let them know how essential this bill is to our children’s education and futures.
  2.       Contact absolutely everyone you know and ask them to do the same thing.

Talking points

  •         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.