School Libraries = Need (not a want)

My last post was about how much I love librarians. I also love the libraries they work in.

Just this evening my daughters and I visited our local East Lansing Public Library. Between the three of us we checked out:

  • 6 audio books: the 2nd grader’s new favorite thing
  • 3 movies: 2 for them, one for me
  • a book about writing for the 6th grader: Spilling Ink (it’s the 3rd time we’ve checked this one out)
  • other various “chapter books” from the children’s room
  • 2 books about statistics for me: I’m taking my LAST doctoral course!

My youngest daughter wanted a book that was out, she went to the circulation desk by herself and put it on hold. The girls played on the computers for a bit while I chatted with one of the librarians and put all three of the Newbery books on hold for my eldest and I to read. (We are 3rd on the waitlist!) I was struck by the diversity of resources we used and as always, glad to have the librarians their for resources.

My daughter’s school library, is a different story. Two years ago, the district cut the positions of the elementary media specialists. So while their building does have a library in it, there is not a trained professional to support the students or the teachers in the school. I understand the budgets are tight – but this is a problem. We know that the more children read the better readers they become. We know that for children to read more, they need to be motivated and interested to read. School librarians help these things happen!

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is the main federal source of funding for school libraries. That funding is in jeopardy. Won’t you please go to http://tinyurl.com/needschoollibraries and sign this petition to send the message that ALL K-12 children deserve to have an effective school library? The website will explain more about the act and why it is important. Please also pass it along, they need 10,000 more votes by February 4th!

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One thought on “School Libraries = Need (not a want)

  1. I totally agree with you – public libraries are critical sources of literacy and literary learning. Schools both need their own library (knowledge managers!) resources, and need to be able to partner with local public libraries as well. I’ve never failed to be delighted by the range of resources or the commitment and intelligence of the librarians when I’ve visited the library.

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