School Libraries staffed by librarians provide the added value of teaching children and adolescents how to be independent learners

Sally Mielke
Eastern Oregon University

Why are School Libraries Important?
School libraries are often the first place a child has the opportunity to independently choose what they are going to read. Additionally, school libraries staffed by librarians provide the added value of teaching children and adolescents how to be independent learners.

How Does the Work of School Libraries Impact Your Work as a Library Professional or Person?

As a former k-12 school librarian turned higher education librarian in a region where school districts routinely do not employ professional librarians, I see the shortfall in the abilities of students being able to determine or articulate an information need, problem solve, and do research beyond rudimentary internet searching. This information age dictates that for students to be successful they must be aware of the formats, characteristics, and constraints of all types of information they will/could interact with at the higher education level, and how they can interact with the information. Entering freshman are not coming with these skills.


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.