ALA believes that the same standards being applied in our classrooms should be extended to our nation's school libraries - that every school should have an effective school library program. While reading and books are mainstays of the school library program, today’s effective school library programs are also sophisticated learning environments that provide the education and necessary skills to succeed in college and the workplace.
Data available from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) highlight the lack of support for too many of our students in thousands of schools across the country. NCES data reveals approximately 8,830 public schools across the nation do not have a school library. For those schools that do have a library, nearly 17,000 schools do not have a full or part-time state-certified school librarian on staff.
Research repeatedly shows that a well-funded and fully staffed school library with a state-certified school librarian is an integral component of a student’s education. Across the United States, studies have demonstrated that students in schools with effective school library programs learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without such resources.
ALA Key Communications
- Response to the U.S. Department of Education's Request for Input on Areas of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in which the Department could Provide Non-Regulatory Guidance to Support Inclusion of School Libraries and Librarians (May 25, 2016)
- Coalition Letters to House and Senate Appropriations LHHS Subcommittees Requesting Robust Funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG), found in Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (March 17, 2016)
- Comments to the U.S. Department of Education on implementing programs under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (January 21, 2016)
- Comments on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education's "Draft Policy Statement on Family Engagement, From the Early Years to the Early Grades"(January 6, 2016)
- Press Release: Senate passage of Every Student Succeeds Act Boosts U.S. School Children’s Chances of 21st Century Success (December 9, 2015)
- Letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate HELP Committee Leadership in Support of the Every Student Succeeds Act (December 2, 2015)
- Coalition Letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate HELP Committee Urging the Retention of the I-TECH Program in ESEA Reauthorization (October 5, 2015)
- Coalition Letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate HELP Committee Regarding Support for the 21st Century Community Learning Center in the Conference Agreement for ESEA Reauthorization (September 22, 2015)
- Letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate HELP Committee Regarding Support for School Libraries in the Conference Agreement for ESEA Reauthorization (September 3, 2015)
- Press Release: Congress Passes Strong Support for U.S. school libraries in Elementary and Secondary Education Act (July 16, 2015)
- Communications and Correspondence Archive
Staff Contact Information
Office of Government Relations
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015: Opportunities for School Librarians (December 22, 2015)This document highlights library-related provisions in P.L. 114-95, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and provides an overview of initial next steps to help maximize opportunities for effective school library programming under the new law.
- The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015: Overview of Library Provisions (November 30, 2015)
- "Dear Colleague" Letter Urging Sen. Alexander and Sen. Murray to maintain the Literacy and Arts Education Program in ESEA Reauthorization (October 27, 2015)