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[Susan notes: No one knows more about the benefits of school libraries in Stephen Krashen and we can all be grateful for his unflagging defense of children's reading.]

Published in Seattle Times
09/26/2005

To the editor

One of the most important findings in educational

research over the last two decades is the discovery

that quality school library collections and the

presence of credentialed school librarians are related

to higher reading achievement.



The reason is simple: More access to books means more

reading, and more reading means better reading, better

writing, better spelling, better grammar and larger

vocabularies.



For many children, the school library is the only

source of books, and the school librarian is the

person who insures that the library is well-supplied

with the right kind of reading matter. The school

librarian is often the one who succeeds in helping

reluctant readers become enthusiastic about books, a

near guarantee of academic success.



Federal Way, with its plan to “sacrifice school

librarians to save budget” (June 23), seems to be

determined to follow the lead of California.

California has the worst-stocked school libraries in

the US, and the fewest school librarians per child

(about one school librarian per 4,500 children,

compared to the national average of one per 900). The

payoff: California consistently ranks last or next to

last in reading in the US.

Stephen Krashen


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