Magazine article American Libraries

Fight for School Libraries: Student Success Depends on Them

Magazine article American Libraries

Fight for School Libraries: Student Success Depends on Them

Article excerpt

Libraries constitute an ecology of educational, research, and community services. In this environment of interdependency, we, as a family of libraries, must embrace advocacy for school libraries as foundational to the success of our collective work for students who love to read, as we prepare them for college, career, and life.

We must all fight the closing of school libraries, the reductions in professional staffing, the erosion of budgets for resources and technology, and the consequent weakening of the librarian-teacher partnership in the classroom. We must advocate for the federal funding that supports network access in schools. We must continue to document and demonstrate the powerful link between student success, educational enrichment, and well-supported school libraries.

We all want students who know how to look for information, evaluate sources, organize research results, present ideas and conclusions, and document their work. These are lifelong skills. They strengthen communities and promote civic engagement. They enrich lives. They transform learning. They enable public libraries and academic libraries to be more effective.

School libraries are about reading and understanding, about critical thinking and problem solving. They are about research and writing, the ability to evaluate sources, and the exploration of diverse perspectives and experiences.

School libraries are about active learning, the ability to analyze, synthesize, and work collaboratively. They are about information skills in context and about a shared information vocabulary. They are about working online, using technology appropriately, and making good choices.

School libraries are about innovative technologies and creative spaces. Through school libraries, students understand issues like privacy, confidentiality, intellectual freedom, open access, fair use, and how these relate to their work as learners. …

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