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How Does Your Library Lead?

libraries lead
During April  AASL is celebrating School Library Month. The month's theme is "Making Connections at your School Library." We should also mention that it's National Library Week on April 8th through 14th. This year's Library Week theme is "Libraries Lead."

Make April a celebration of how your library leads and connects patrons of all ages to discovery and learning!

Celebrate Your Library's Impacts on Education

Libraries are the backbone for discovery, whether your library is centered around books, mix media, technology, makerspaces, or collaborative learning. It's important to remember, and remind other key personnel, that librarians should play an active role in student achievement, faculty success, and implementation of district goals.

Student Achievement

Research has proven that having a full-time, certified librarian within your school increases the achievements of students. From reading and writing test scores to exceeding academic standards, school libraries are critical in leading school and district initiatives. Library programs with the resources and access to larger collections, technology, and databases contribute to the overall success of students.

Academic gains are evident when librarians spend more time:
  • Instructing
  • Working collaboratively with teachers
  • Facilitating the use of technology to students and teachers
Librarians also help to develop the love of books and a sense of connection to literature students need in order to "want" to read. When students want to read, their reading pursuits lead to a variety of reading choices, expansion of vocabulary, higher fluency and the ability to blend these skills. Librarians have a considerable impact on sparking the willingness and interest of students to read.

At-Risk Students
Library programs are essential in helping at-risk students, primarily students of color, low-income, and special needs. Research has shown that at-risk students benefit the most from library programs because they are given the opportunity to access resources and tools otherwise unavailable to them.

Faculty Success

Connecting teachers and librarians to collaborate on initiatives has lead to the academic improvement of students. Librarians can serve teachers in the classroom by being an instructional partner for locating resources, equipping teachers with technology, and assisting in curriculum design. Not only can librarians help teachers, but they can be leaders in the distribution and accessibility of information to the school community.

Reaching Goals

Finally, school libraries can have up to a million dollars worth of resources and assets. Such an investment should be used and managed efficiently to meet the school and district goals. In recent years, library programs have seen cutbacks. Libraries are essential to children's education, for the library serves as the hub of the school. Create programs at your library that place an emphasis on learning techniques. From hands-on learning like makerspaces to navigating knowledge resources, the library teaches valuable skills to help the school and district reach educational goals.

How to Make Your Library Great

Libraries are a place of discovery and lead patrons to new information. Make your library great by evaluating what resources and tools your program needs. Great school libraries assess the culture and environment of the school. Meet the needs of students and teachers whether that is creating makerspaces for students to discover or expanding your collections to encompass the right books. Remember a little can go a long way in your library as long as you are providing the space for learning, creativity, and achievement.

Make the best use of your library programs by including collections of print, digital information, instructional technologies, and educational resources. Libraries with initiatives centered around blending learning from the classroom to the library have proven to be crucial.

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