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[Susan notes: This letter writer is right: There is no such thing as good education without a good library. It's a pity she's the one to say it--instead of the newspaper editorialists, school board members, and members of the Business Roundtable..]

Published in Fresno Bee

To the editor

Why do we need school library media teachers? Can't we use volunteers?

School library media teachers have advanced education degrees as teachers and librarians. They understand how to teach and are experts in children's and young adult literature, as well as information science.

They know what kids like to read and what is

appropriate at different stages of their development. They understand how information is organized and how to find it in many different formats -- print and electronic. They are there to help classroom teachers teach and students to learn using a variety of resources.

Few volunteers have the expertise to do this.

Our school libraries are more than books. They are a learning hub with a full range of print and electronic resources that support student achievement, including books, magazines, videotapes, computers, databases and much more. More important, there is a school library media teacher to assist students with their

information needs and help teachers develop projects that engage students in developing critical learning and research skills.

In recent years, our library's buying power has

decreased by 95%.

There is no such thing as good education without a

good library. Studies have shown there is a direct

link between student achievement and library media

centers that are professionally staffed and well

stocked with books and technology.

Insist on a quality school library with a certificated library media teacher. Our children will thank you.

Annie Lokrantz, Library Media Manager, Teague Elementary

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