"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, November 13, 2015

Invest in school libraries

Sent to the Philadelphia Inquirer,  November 13

"Push to narrow the digital divide" (November 12) argues that we need to invest more in school libraries: There is strong research evidence supporting this argument.
The importance of the school library has been confirmed in study after study: Better school libraries staffed with credentialed librarians mean higher reading scores. In our recent study, based on data from 40 countries, we found that access to a good school library was positively related to reading scores, and nearly offset the negative effect of poverty. In other words, school libraries and school librarians can help close the achievement gap.
We complain about the low levels of literacy in young people, but we cripple and even destroy the most obvious source of reading material, which is often the only source for those living in poverty.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Study after study: Kachel, D. 2013. School Library Research Summarized. Mansfield University.
Our recent study: Krashen, S., Lee, S.Y. and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is the library important? Multivariate studies at the national and international level. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1): 26-36

Original article: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20151112_Push_to_narrow_the_digital_divide_.html


  1. Carol W. Heinsdorf, M.S.L.S., N.B.C.T.2:40 PM

    Thank you for bringing so succinctly this important research conclusion to the public's attention, again. Even more important than the well-resourced school library is the certified teacher librarian (CTL) who connects each student to the resources that meet the student's academic needs at a level appropriate for his/her skills and understanding, fosters critical thinking, and reading for pleasure and life-long learning.

  2. Anonymous6:20 PM

    They are closing school libraries left and right in Newark.

    Abigail Shure