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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen makes a powerful case for school libraries, proving convincing evidence of their importance. Use his argument in your local papers.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published
06/05/2011

To the editor



Missing from Learning to read on zero dollars a day (June 5) is the fact that what is happening in Boise High is happening all across the country: School library funding is decreasing everywhere, and school librarians' hours are being cut back, and some are loosing their jobs.



Also missing is the consistent finding that students get a large percentage of their reading material from school libraries. For children in high-poverty areas, the library is often the primary source of reading material.



Also missing is the consistent finding that better school libraries are associated with higher reading scores, and the presence of a credentialed librarian makes an independent contribution to reading achievement.



Critics everywhere are insisting on evidence and accountability. The research has supplied the evidence in support of libraries and librarians. Why is it ignored?



Sources:

School library funding is decreasing â¦: American Library Association, 2010. The State of America's Libraries. American Libraries (Special Issue).

Students get a large percentage â¦: Krashen, S. 2004. The Power of Reading. (Libraries Unlimited, Heinemann, second edition); "Primary Sources: America's Teachers on America's Schools" http://www.scholastic.com/primarysources/download.asp (March, 2010)

Better libraries, librarians associated with higher reading scores: Research reviewed in Krashen, 2004, op. cit, also studies by Keith Curry Lance, http://www.lrs.org/impact.php

Stephen Krashen


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