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[Susan notes: This is a great letter. Go forth and use it. Over and over.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published
01/31/2010

To the editor



Promote learning, promote libraries



An old library stands for the kind of progress that makes sense (Jan

30) provides compelling evidence supporting the importance of

libraries.



Study after study shows that library quality is related to higher

scores on reading tests.



A major reason California children do poorly on reading tests

(California 4th graders were 3rd from last in the US in 2007) is that

we have the worst supported school and public libraries in the

country, in terms of both holdings and staffing.



California's school libraries have among the fewest books per child

and the lowest ratio of librarians per student in the US. In the

recent America's Most Literate Cities report, four California cities

captured the bottom four places in public library quality: Los Angeles

(67th), Anaheim (68th), Stockton (69th), and Santa Ana (70th).



Let's divert some of the huge sums spent on testing to funding

libraries. Let's invest in promoting learning, not just measuring it.









Stephen Krashen


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