Noted author Margaret Atwood recently sang the praises of the school librarian as “the one person you don’t want to remove from a school.” Sadly, this could happen if revisions to Bulletin 741 make librarians “optional” in K-8 schools.
Numerous studies support the impact of school librarians on student achievement. Students in schools with full-time certified librarians achieve consistently higher scores on state tests than do their counterparts in schools without professionally staffed libraries.
School librarians are not optional! They are the very heart of 21st century education. Full-time certified school librarians have multiple roles. As teacher, the librarian shows students how to selectively use the Internet as well as other reliable and authoritative sources to find, evaluate and interpret information. As instructional partner, the school librarian collaborates with teachers to provide resources to enhance classroom lessons. As program administrator, the librarian selects resources that serve the curriculum and match student interests. Lastly, librarians find creative ways to attract even the most reluctant of readers, and readers become life-long learners who contribute to society in positive ways.
Far from being “optional,” school librarians promote literacy, the bedrock of all learning.