If your children’s school has a library, learn more about that library and its program. Schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian ensure their students have the best chance to succeed.
Ask your children about their library use.
- Can they visit whenever they want before and after school? At lunchtime?
- What do they like best about the library?
- What don’t they like?
- Has the school library program helped them learn more about topics they are interested in? About topics they are studying in class?
- Do they find fun stuff to read?
Visit the school library.
- Who is on the staff?
- Is one of the people a state-certified school librarian?
- Are the books in the library a mix of traditional favorites and newer titles?
- What other resources are available at the school library?
- Do students have access to computers and other technology to support their learning?
- Do students know how to use these tools?
If the school has a school librarian, ask questions.
- How does the school library program help students develop information-literacy skills?
- How does the program support classroom learning?
- Does the librarian have a chance to co-plan lessons with teachers? To co-teach these lessons?
- Could the librarian use your help with a special project? With convincing decision makers to put more money in the library budget?
If you aren’t satisfied with the library program at your child’s school, speak up! If the school library has a librarian, talk to him or her.
Express your concerns. You may find that the librarian shares those concerns and can tell you why the program isn’t as good as it could be. Typically, the causes relate to lack of money or lack of time. (Some school librarians serve more than one school.) Maybe you can help fix the problem. To read more about problems facing school library programs, go to Are School Libraries Really in Danger?
If there’s no school librarian, talk to the principal.
Express your concerns and ask why no librarian is available to help your child succeed in school. When you know why, you’ll know where to focus your advocacy efforts. Please read on!
If your children’s school doesn’t have a school library or school librarian—or the budget has been slashed—become an advocate! Ensure excellence for every student by demanding a school library with a certified school librarian in every school.
Your voice matters. Talk to your community’s parent leaders, teachers, principals, school board, or superintendent about the importance of strong school library programs with certified school librarians.