[Library Media] Research Shows Closing School Libraries and Cutting Certified Librarians Does Not Make Sense

georgeweight at integrity.com georgeweight at integrity.com
Fri Jul 25 16:24:50 MDT 2014

Some of you may remember that this issue was a chief concern during my
years on the UELMA Board, including my year as President (now somewhat in
the distant past). I'm quite concerned that we seem to be circling back to
that point. The "job description" when one looks at the technological
trends have changed drastically since the time I was reassigned to "the
classroom" and since retiring as a social studies teacher more than a
decade ago.

Nevertheless, I find the position to remain a critical one. I still visit
Library Media Centers when I have a substitute teacher assignment and find
that many needs are still needing to be met. But the Library staff, even
when not professionally trained, are by in large trying to assist the
students in the best way they can. For that, I congratulate all of you and
encourage you to continue to keep up with current trends and training,
along with your expert work with the students.

That being said, can we all take a bit of time this coming school year to
contact the powers of the purse and alert them to the important finds
Sharon has outlined here? We found that when legislators were alerted to
the needs, PARTICULARLY correspondence from students themselves who value
their library media centers, they were more willing to listen.

Thanks for all the good work you're continuing to do.

George L. Weight
Past President, UELMA

>>From School Library Journal
> A substantial body of research—34 studies to be exact—known as the
> “School
> Library Impact Studies,” which includes data from 23 states and one
> Canadian province, was summarized by Debra Kachel, project director of the
> Pennsylvania School Library Project, et al (2013) at Mansfield University,
> and provides a wealth of evidence about the positive correlation between
> properly staffed and funded school libraries and improved student
> achievement.
> “Although the effects of poverty still remain a primary force in
> determining student academic success, state after state showed that such
> socioeconomic conditions could not explain away the impact of school
> library programs, especially school library staffing, funding, and quality
> collections,” Kachel concludes
> <http://sl-it.mansfield.edu/upload/MU-LibAdvoBklt2013.pdf>.
> Read full article at:
> http://www.slj.com/2014/07/advocacy/letter-to-policy-makers-closing-school-libraries-does-not-make-sense/
> --
> Sharon Deeds, Youth Services Coordinator/Consultant
> Utah State Library Division
> 250 N 1950 W  Suite A
> Salt Lake City, UT 84116-7901
> 801-715-6742
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