School Libraries Make the Difference

More than 60 education and library research studies have produced clear evidence that school library programs staffed by qualified school librarians have a positive impact on student academic achievement.

Yet, many students are returning to school without a resource essential for success: a strong school library program lead by a certified school librarian.

It’s easy to assume that all schools have well-funded libraries, staffed by a certified school librarian. But in reality, this isn’t always true. The only way to find out what’s happening at your children’s school is to get involved. Ask your children about their school library experiences, visit the school library, and talk to the school librarian and other teachers.

First, explore the situation at your child’s school.  If the situation is good, you can help make it even better! Ask the school librarian how you can help. Even working parents with very little time might be able to contribute skills to a special project or help with publicity for an event sponsored by the library.

If the situation is not good, become an advocate.  Attending school board meetings, writing letters of support and talking to other parents are just some of the ways to get started.

One of the things you can do is write an op-ed piece for your local newspaper. (It’s not as hard as you think!) 

Share this digital publication with parents, colleagues, administration, and policymakers. Available electronically  or as a PDF download,this tool can open the door to discussions on the multiple ways school libraries transform learning.

Your voice matters. Talk to your community’s parent leaders, teachers, principals, school board, or superintendent about the importance of strong school library programs with certified school librarians.

Why are school libraries essential?

Schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian ensure their students have the best chance to succeed.  Certified school librarians make the whole school more effective.  They teach students how to learn and help teachers drive student success. Learn more about today's school libraries.

FAQ's and Definitions

Frequently asked questions about the need for school libraries and school librarians and definitions for terms throughout this section of the website. Learn more.

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Do you have a question about school libraries and their role in student success? About threats to school libraries? About what school librarians do? About sources of more information?  Please send your question to advocacy@ala.org