School Libraries & Education

The Issue

ALA believes 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 skill building 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 comparable resources.

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