Here are some questions to ask and answer to assess whether your school district supports highly effective library programs:
Is the school library staffed by a team consisting of a full-time state-certified teacher librarian (see requirements here) and a full-time classified assistant?
Does the school district have an Information Literacy Curriculum (which includes digital, visual, media, textual, and technological literacy) which prepares students for college and professions following graduation? Does the teacher librarian have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers to extend learning opportunities beyond the textbook and classroom?
Is the school library available for students and classes to access during the school day? Are class visits scheduled at various times according to need?
Is the school library a safe and comfortable place for students and teachers to access information and resources? Does the library have enough space to accommodate one class for instruction plus additional individuals and small groups working independently?
Does the school library have sufficient books that appeal to different tastes of students to encourage reading? Is a least two-thirds of the collection less than fifteen years old? Does the school library have enough budget to add new resources every year?
Does the library provide sufficient access to technology and online digital tools such as research databases? Does the school library offer remote access to digital resources for use off campus?
How do district and campus administration support the library? Did you know that strong school libraries support academic achievement and strong test scores? Extensive research supports this statement.
For more information:
Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools.
Pre-Service Toolkit for Principals and Teachers from the American Association of School Librarians
If your answers to any of these questions are “no,” it’s time to advocate to change that for our students!