With so many school districts facing fiscal hardship, libraries are often on the chopping block. But school libraries (and the staff who support them) are an essential part of a well-rounded education. CSLA is currently advocating for better understanding and support of school libraries through the California Campaign for Strong School Libraries. You can do your part by vocalizing support for your school library to your school's administration, the district's administration, and your state legislators. Another way to support CSLA is to purchase items from the Library Store and wear your gear with p
The California School Library Association advocates for all students to have access to:
- A full time, certified teacher librarian and a full-time paraprofessional working as a team. This allows the teacher librarian to collaborate with classroom teachers in co-designing instruction which incorporates information literacy into the curriculum.
Measurement: The national average is one school librarian to 856 students. California’s average is one librarian to 5,240 students.
- Lots of carefully selected books, databases, and other learning resources. Resources must reflect the school curriculum and the research and recreational reading needs of the students.
- Measurement: The national average is 22 books/student.
- A program which provides instruction and activities for students to use the research process in finding the information they need. Measurement: The American Library Association (ALA) has created nine information literacy standards that are best taught when embedded in content-area standards-based units of study through collaboration between the site library media teacher and classroom teachers. Is your library media teacher routinely practicing collaborative teaching? California state content standards are infused with independent reading as well as information literacy. Is your teacher librarian promoting reading for purpose as well as for pleasure?
- Technology, including hardware, software, and networking that form a virtual library without walls linking students to the world of information, a cybrary that fully supports the school curriculum, 24/7.
- Measurement: Do all schools in the district have access to the same level of technology-based resources? How do your school library eResources compare with other school districts’ eResources?
- Its doors open before, during and after school hours, with liberal circulation policies. This means access to the school library, its resources, and staff.
- Measurement: Compare the number of hours your elementary, middle and high school libraries are open. Compare your district to others.