Over the last decade, the number of school librarians has decreased by almost 20%, affecting the operations of many school libraries across the country. School libraries are essential to learners; they provide the foundation to student learning and help students achieve their goals. In order to combat the decrease in school libraries, we must advocate for their existence and funding and demonstrate how eliminating them negatively impacts our schools, students, and communities.
How do libraries benefit students?
According to the American Library Association, there are almost 94,000 school libraries for students in grades K-12 in the United States—that means there’s quite a few books waiting to be read! Not only do school libraries benefit overall academic success in students, but they also...
- -Supply students (and their families) with resources and helpful assistance
- -Offer a welcoming environment where students can safely express themselves
- -Provide homework resources, learning materials, and a calm place to study
- -Equip students with internet access and teach them how to use up-to-date technologies
- -Offer special learning programs and courses which encourage critical thinking and other lifelong skills
Most beneficial, however, in having a school library is how they help foster a natural love of reading.
Why is it important to encourage a love for reading?
According to the Young Readers Foundation, reading helps educate, enlighten, and calm young learners. In fact, children who read more are shown to have overall better cognitive skills. Frequent reading helps to build students' vocabulary and comprehension skills, while improving their test scores, writing skills, and communication skills. Consistent reading—especially outside of the classroom—is great for overall student development and literacy.
By encouraging reading at a young age, you are setting your students up for success in the future. The benefits of reading don’t stop when students graduate; according to an article by Heathline, adults who read have a greater ability to empathize, a stronger vocabulary, are less prone to cognitive decline as they age, and are less likely to have symptoms of depression. Reading creates endless opportunities for every learner.
How can you support your school library?
According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 8,830 public schools across the nation do not have a school library. It is imperative that we advocate for the presence of school libraries, proper funding, and for all books to remain on their shelves. The American Library Association created the Advocacy Library to help libraries find resources and navigate difficult policies and legislation. Librarians and their supporters can attend local advocacy events, write letters to your state legislator to voice your concerns, and post on social media to keep your local citizens informed on the latest happenings. Make sure to vote yes for your school library and rally others to do the same!
How does JLG support school libraries?
Here at JLG, we support school libraries by making sure books get into the hands of students. We do that by providing book curation services to libraries. It is no secret that librarians and educators are being asked to do more now than ever— leaving them stretched so thin—and that’s why we pride ourselves in making the content curation process as easy as possible. When you work with us, you will save hours of time every week. Time you were reviewing and selecting books for your young readers can now be spent with your students!
Our editorial team reads thousands of books every year in manuscript and creates categories of the best new titles. Our selections go on to win awards, accolades, and starred reviews in the industry. All you need to do is choose the categories that are best for your library and a subscription box full of new books for your collection is on the way every month.
Learn more about what a JLG membership can do for you!
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