Why not let volunteers run school libraries... posted February 4 2011, 6:57 AM by anna koval
State Senator Bob Huff wants to contract out "non-classroom services" and says school libraries as one such easily-cuttable "service." (1) But what Mr. Huff fails to understand is that school libraries *are* in fact classrooms, too!
The school library where I teach (2) is actually two classrooms in one, serving two classes simultaneously almost every single period every single day. Because my students have open access to a librarian (with two teaching credentials and a masters degree), along with a robust and current collection of print and electronic resources, studies show they will score higher on standardized tests of their literacy skills. (3)
Senator Huff's website says he's "a strong believer in parents’ freedom to choose the school they want their children to attend." (4) I would assume that most parents, as well as the Senator himself, would want their own children and grandchildren going to schools with strong libraries and staffed with qualified professionals, not the outsourced unskilled volunteers he proposes for the rest of the state -- a state which, I might add, is all but dead last when compared with the rest of the nation in teacher-librarian-to-student ratios. (5)
This isn't about just "protecting union jobs," as the KABC reporter in the news story below presumptuously suggests; it's about protecting our state's children's equitable access to a proven part of a world class education: school libraries with credentialed teacher-librarians.
The Case for Libraries and Librarians, Dr. Stephen Krashen, 2008, <http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/case_for_libraries/index.html>.
Haves, Halves, and Have Nots, Dr. Douglas Achterman, 2008, <http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/>.
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