Today is International School Library Day which has been extended this year to make October International School Library Month. What a wonderful thing to celebrate. I put a display on the noticeboard outside the library reminding parents and children of all the wonderful things libraries do and why their library is particularly good. The theme for 2010 is Diversity, Challenge, Resilience: School libraries have it all. There are good posters on the websites here and here.
I also displayed the conclusions from the report Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement; A Review of the Research that says "Existing research shows that school libraries can have a positive impact, whether measured in terms of reading scores, literacy or learning more generally, on student achievement. " It also says among other things, that there is evidence to show that
* a strong library program that is adequately staffed, resourced and funded can lead to higher student achievement...;
* the quality of the collection has an impact on student learning;
* test scores are higher when there is higher usage of the school library;
* a print-rich environment leads to more reading, and free voluntary reading is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary growth, spelling and grammatical ability and writing style;
* the extent to which books are borrowed from school libraries shows a strong relationship with reading achievement whereas borrowing from classroom libraries does not;
* libraries can make a positive difference to students' self-esteem, confidence, independence and sense of responsibility in regard to their own learning.
I am lucky, the school library I work in and am responsible for is well funded and has an exceptional collection of resources, but they do not 'walk' off the shelves without the commitment of the staff to using literature to teach in all curriculum areas, not just when teaching English.
I found this lovely picture and verse above. Thank you to Peter Golkin and Melissa Sweet. No one could have said it better. You need to go to the library no matter the weather or the mode of transport...it is a pressing need in those of us who love libraries and sharing their many benefits with others.