The pivotal role of school libraries


Key points:

School libraries have evolved from stereotypical hush-hush environments to bustling resource centers where students not only learn to locate and evaluate information, but where they develop critical skills guided by digital media specialists.

Let’s take a look at what makes libraries such critical parts of the school environment:

Why do libraries matter?

Study after study has shown that effective library programs can increase student literacy and test scores and create more equitable student outcomes. Having access to the skills needed to decode text and other media impacts our students now and forever. Literacy can make or break their school performance and enhance their career and civic participation. All our students should have access to a school library and a certified librarian to help improve reading levels and foster critical thinking and source analysis. There are many types of school libraries–here’s why they’re all essential.

What is the purpose of a school library?

As we examine elementary school library best practices, we realize the true purpose of a school library is not limited to one specific idea. Rather, a school library serves myriad purposes for students, teachers, and even community members. Here are four key ways librarians are leading digital transformations to meet the varied needs of all who use them.

What are the characteristics of a library?

Library innovations in the 21st century include building a space that students actually want to inhabit, which is imperative to facilitating their learning and curiosity when it comes to reading. In some cases, that means out with the stuffy, shush-filled library, and in with the coffee shop vibes. Because as long as a student simply enters the space–even if it’s just to hang out–that gives us the opportunity to make a connection with them. Discover 5 functions of a school library here.

What makes an effective school library?

When you think of a school librarian, what comes to mind? Is it shelving, stamping, and shushing? That’s the stereotype you’re probably most familiar with. Librarians are so much more than this, though. They’re the keepers of the information, the resource kids use to explore new lands through the turning of pages–but their role as librarians is one that has historically been misunderstood. Because as times have changed, technology has advanced, and student needs have evolved–so, too, has the role of the librarian. Here’s why librarians are essential, and why the importance of the school library for students can’t be overstated.

What are the three key roles of school librarians?

School librarians play a critical role in teaching and learning, research, and sharing information. Gone are the days when a school librarian’s job was defined by shushing, rocking, and reading.  While reading out loud and building a love of literacy is still a foundational part of their job in a school, school librarians in the school media center wear many, many hats and touch many lives in the course of a day’s work. Here are 10 reasons to love your school librarians.

Laura Ascione
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