Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Parents, Librarians Mobilize to Save School Libraries

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) met at last week's American Library Association (ALA) midwinter conference and shared some of the efforts around the country to raise awareness of the importance of continued funding for school libraries and media centers.

In the state of Washington as local school districts slash school library positions, parents and educators are lobbying the state to include library services as part of the state's definition of basic education services. California spending on school libraries has decreased from $29.16 per student in the 1999-2000 school year to $.41 per student this year.

The ALA announced that Americans spend 9X the amount of money on video games ($7.3 billion) as they do on school library materials for their children ($771.2 million).

ALA President Loriene Roy stated, "Since 1965, more than 60 education and library studies have produced clear evidence that school library media programs staffed by qualified library media specialists have a positive impact on student academic achievement."

ALA Recommends:
  • All students have the access to certified school library media specialists.
  • All school libraries be adequately funded to ensure that they include up-to-date collections in both print and electronic formats.
  • The school library media program be integrated into classroom curriculum.

We all must keep the pressure on our local districts and state governments to keep fully-funded school libraries a priority for our children. For more information, is a great resource.

Also, if you are a school librarian, the AASL is launching its second year of longitudinal research. The survey window is January 11 - March 15th of this year. If you would like to participate, please log in here. All K-12 public and private schools are invited to participate.

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