School Libraries & Education


The Issue

ALA believes that every student should have access to effective school libraries. 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.

Recent Advocacy

  • Letter to Washington state legislature in support of SB5102 (January 20, 2023)
  • Letter to North Allegheny School District leadership opposing proposed cuts to school library budgets and staffing (October 24, 2022)
  • Letter to Washington, DC Council commending the Students' Right to Read Amendment Act and urging quick passage (October 5, 2022)
  • Correspondence & Filings Archive