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Save Little Silver Schools' two librarians

This petition had 274 supporters

It has recently come to our attention that the Board of Education has decided to eliminate the school librarians at both Markham Place and Point Road Schools. We, the parents of Little Silver students, feel this is a grave mistake for the future of our children. The library serves as a tremendous resource for our children, and librarians serve as a vital connection between accessing those resources and facilitating our children's learning. Librarians serve as the gateway to these online resources, of particular importance at a time when students are exposed to a multitude of conflicting information online. Now, more than ever, our children are in need of someone to guide and help them determine which information is most valuable and useful. A librarian has the capabilities, expertise and resources to do this.

According to Scholastic, the well-respected educational company, "The link between strong school library programs and student achievement is well documented. Over the past 20 years, numerous studies have shown that elementary schools with at least one full-time certified teacher-librarian performed better on state tests. In a 2010 study conducted in Colorado, more children scored "proficient" or "advanced" in reading in schools with a full-time, credentialed librarian than those without"[i]. ( 2012)

In an article published by Kachel and Lance (2015), the authors reviewed a multitude of studies which consistently show that the students who have a full-time librarian in their schools, perform better on their reading and writing scores, than those who don’t.  One such study, "Pennsylvania School Libraries Pay Off: Investments in Student Achievement and Academic Standards", revealed that students with full-time librarians in their schools are almost three times as likely to have “advanced” writing scores, compared to those students without full-time librarians.[ii]  A 2003 Michigan study found that elementary schools with a full-time certified librarian, have 35%  more fourth graders who score proficient or above in reading achievement.[iii]

Another study by Lance et al, also proved that a strong library program leads to higher test scores. They reviewed results from dozens of large-scale studies, involving over 8,700 schools and over 2.6 million students. In their review of the literature, results consistently demonstrated that students scored an average of 10-20 % higher on reading and achievement tests when their school had a strong library media program. "Even more importantly, this effect holds, regardless of other school conditions such as student-teacher ratio, overall per-pupil spending, student demographics, and community socio-economic conditions". (Lance, et al., 2005; Lance, et al., 2003)[iv] This same conclusion was found in a 2008 California study, which also revealed that higher test scores were correlated with increased library services; regardless of parent education level, poverty level or ethnicity, among other factors.[v]

Eliminating librarians from Little Silver Schools is a huge mistake for our school system, and most importantly for our children. We, the parents of Little Silver students, urge you to reconsider this decision.

[i] website. “Are librarians still important?” Katie Rix. 2012
[ii] “School Library Research Summarized: A Graduate Class Project”, Debra E. Kachel, 2011
[iii] “Latest Study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement”, Kachel and Lance, School Library Journal, March 2013
[iv] “Latest Study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement”, Kachel and Lance, School Library Journal, March 2013
[v] Kachel 2011 (as above)

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