Letter to the Editor
Support Our Elementary School Libraries
GUILDERLAND, NY (04/16/2013)(readMedia)-- In today's climate of ever-shrinking funding, hard decisions need to be made in order to balance the school budget. As you consider where to make cuts and what programs to eliminate, please consider the following information about school library programs and school librarians.
While all school libraries are important, we believe that school libraries, especially elementary school libraries, and certified school librarians to staff them are needed now more than ever. As you know, elementary school provides the basis upon which all further education is built. A strong school library program in elementary school will result in the future success of your students as they move toward college and careers.
Strong school libraries build strong students. Schools must empower our students to be ethical decision makers, effective users of information, creative thinkers, and innovative problem-solvers. School library programs are critical to provide ALL students and the entire school community with the resources, the instruction, the opportunities, and the leadership to prepare for college, career, and lifelong learning. Certified school librarians:
- Provide technology to the entire school community and the necessary instruction to find the most reliable information, how to stay safe online, and how to use this information ethically. This is digital literacy.
- Provide students with vicarious experiences with other cultures, mores, and life styles for a better understanding of themselves and their place in society.
- Provide for interaction with carefully selected resources and tools necessary for students to create products that demonstrate authentic learning.
- Collaborate with teachers to select the most engaging and appropriate resources and learning experiences to co-teach subject content and the critical thinking skills needed to meet the Common Core State Standards.
Involve the school community in literacy initiatives and teaching reading comprehension skills in order to ensure that students think critically, and produce knowledge from the ideas and information with which they interact.
We call on the members of the Board of Education of every school to please consider these points before making a decision to eliminate any school library program run by a certified school librarian. Thank you for your consideration.
Carol Ann Germain, President
New York Library Association
State University of New York, Albany
Sue Kowalski, President of NYLA-SSL
Pine Grove Middle School Librarian - East Syracuse Minoa School District