www.SedonaObserver.com
Sedona, Arizona
October 21, 2007

Save School Libraries

 

The schoolchildren of Arizona need public support along with that of all librarians and library advocates to ensure the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). 

According to a press release, this is the single most important piece of legislation concerning school libraries that will come before Congress this year.

Time is running short and schools need to get all representatives and senators to co-sponsor the SKILLs Act - HR 2864/ S. 1699. Send a note to your reps by clicking on this link, entering your zip code and then clicking “GO.” Copy and paste the letter below into the text box.

http://www.capwiz.com/ala/issues/alert/?alertid=10223941&PROCESS=Take+Action

School library media specialists give students the skills they need to utilize public libraries to their fullest extent, the release stated. Throughout the United States, only about 60 percent of school libraries have a full-time, state-certified school library media specialist on staff.

Research has shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades and score higher on standardized test scores than their peers in schools without libraries.

School libraries provide equal learning opportunities to all students, regardless of the socioeconomic or education levels of the community – but only when they are staffed by school library media specialists trained to collaborate with teachers and engage students meaningfully with information that matters to them both in the classroom and in the real world.

According to public librarians, their facilities are often relied upon if there is not a sufficient school library. However, public libraries have a different mission and cannot provide the valuable teaching component that a school library media specialist offers. This is what students need to live, work and learn in the 21st century and become lifelong patrons of public libraries.

For more information, contact:

Ann Dutton Ewbank, Ph.D.

President, Arizona Library Association
Education Liaison Librarian
Fletcher Library
Arizona State University at the West campus
P.O. Box 37100
Phoenix, Arizona 85069-7100
Phone:  (602) 543-8527
Fax:  602-543-6500