We hear that your school is cutting the librarian position--oh no! We understand that budgets are tight and librarians may seem “unessential” because they don’t have “class assignments.” But we wanted to reach out to you and explain the dangers of these cuts and the benefits of keeping a librarian on staff.
We think we can all agree that the point of school is to raise educated and informed thinking citizens. Did you know that great schools with certified full-time school librarians boost student achievement? A school library inspires students to create new knowledge, pursue their interests, access resources in many formats, become critical evaluators of information, and use information technology effectively and ethically. A certified full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement.
We know that you, as an administrator, want staff who are current in best practices and work to inspire students to be critical thinkers. Did you know that great schools with librarians who collaborate with teachers on curriculum and 21st century skill instruction see an increase in reading and writing test scores, school-wide? Certified school librarians are experts in best instructional practices, literacy integration, Common Core implementation, analyzing and making meaning of data, as well as professional development. Collaborative leadership from the library impacts teachers and students alike.
We understand that all schools want to ensure equity in achievement and provide a quality education to every student, no matter background, ability, or socioeconomic status. Did you know that groups that experience the most significant achievement gaps--the economically disadvantaged and those with IEPs--perform markedly better on reading and writing tests when they have a certified full-time school librarian? The librarians is the only academic staff member who sees every student every year in every discipline, and this provides students who struggle the most continuity in their literacy instruction. Libraries have always been about equity, and students who have access to a well-constructed library program have access to an equitable learning experience.
Before you commit to cutting the school librarian position, remember that all of our children need and deserve quality school library programs with full-time certified staff. Students are more likely to succeed when they have library programs that are well staffed, technologically well-equipped, and have librarians collaborating with faculty. We hope you will do what is best for your students.
Pam & Angie