Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: Our champion letter writer scores again.]

Published in USA Today

To the editor

Isaac Asimov wrote, "When I read about the way in

which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

The closure of public libraries in Salinas is a

disaster, especially for a city in a state with some of the lowest reading scores in the nation “Calif. City to shutter its libraries,” News, Monday).

Research shows that better public and school libraries are related to better reading achievement. The reason for this is obvious: Children become better readers by reading more, and for many children, the library is the only place they have access to books. California has

the worst school libraries in the country, and

California’s public libraries rank near the bottom.

When California’s low reading scores were first

announced in 1992, it stimulated a rush to heavy

phonics instruction. But it didn’t work. California fourth-graders’ performance on the most recent national reading test was at the same dismal level as it was in 1992.

There is a more reasonable and less expensive

solution: Improving, not destroying, public and school libraries.

Stephen Krashen, Professor Emeritus, USC

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.