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.

Related

  • Letter to West Orange Public Schools leadership thanking them for reinstating funding for school library staff positions (May 10, 2021)
  • Letter to Glen Ridge Public Schools leadership in support of school library staff positions and funding (May 10, 2021)
  • Letter to Clearview Regional High School District leadership in support of school library staff positions and funding (April 29, 2021)
  • Letter to Washington, DC Council & Mayor urging full funding for school library staff positions (April 23, 2021)
  • Letter to West Orange Public Schools leadership in support of school library staff positions and funding (April 19, 2021)
  • Letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging funds from the American Rescue Plan be used to support school libraries and school library staff (April 16, 2021)
  • Coalition letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging a review of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (April 12, 2021)
  • Letter of endorsement from ALA for Dr. Miguel Cardona's nomination for Secretary of Education (January 26, 2021)
  • Coalition Letter to Congressional Leadership advocating for public service loan forgiveness to be part of COVID-19 relief (April 16, 2020)
  • Coalition Letter to Labor HHS Subcommittees calling for increased education funding (April 16, 2020)
  • Letter to Department of Education urging libraries be part of their CARES Act funding  (April 4, 2020)
  • Testimony to House Labor HHS Subcommittee regarding library funding (March 23, 2020)
  • Letter urging Congress to support funding through Title IV-A of Every Student Succeeds Act (March 18, 2020)
  • Coalition letter to the House supporting Summer Meals and Learning Act of 2019 (September 2019)
  • Coalition letter to the Senate supporting Summer Meals and Learning Act of 2019 (September 2019)
  • Executive Summary: "Fight for School Libraries" (September 2018)
  • Correspondence Archive