Happy National Librarian Day!
Date Posted: 4/16/2022
Happy National Librarian Day! This day—observed on April 16 in 2022—marks a perfect chance to celebrate and thank librarians for their important role in education (especially those ATPE member librarians on school campuses!).
Librarians are highly qualified, experienced educators that work closely with teachers and administrators to develop literacy initiatives and curriculum for every grade level. Their technical expertise makes them valuable assets in every school to help students explore new classroom technologies and find the books they are looking for.
More than anything, librarians help students improve their reading comprehension. Reading is the fundamental skill that every student needs to be successful, and librarians play a key part in that process.
“As librarians, we support the freedom to read,” wrote Martha J. Spear, library media specialist with the American Library Association, in “The Top 10 Reasons to be a Librarian.” “We champion the right to access information for all people, regardless of race, creed, religion, or economic disposition. Libraries are everyone’s university. These may feel like cliches to the converted (us librarians), but they remain truisms.”
A 2016 Pew Research survey reported 77% of Americans aged 16 and older believed libraries provided necessary resources. That percentage went up to 84% when the age margin is shrunk to Americans aged 16-29.
According to Phi Delta Kappan, a professional journal for educators, there is a direct correlation between having full-time, qualified school librarians and higher scores on standard-based language arts, reading, and writing tests. Furthermore, the absence of librarians can lead to a decline in reading scores, which was the result from a national study of data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the fourth grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The study also reported that states in which the number of librarians increased between 2004-05 and 2008-09 saw improvement in reading scores for poor students, Black students, and Latino students compared with states in which the number of librarians decreased, according to Phi Delta Kappan.
Librarians also provide a safe place for students to read and study and play a huge part in supply the reading materials that a student may be looking for to aid in their studies. Librarians play such a vital role in the community that to say schools need them is an understatement.
Thank you to all the librarians out there, and Happy National Librarian Day!
Sources:Why school librarians matter: What years of research tell us - kappanonline.org
Library Professionals: Facts, Figures, and Union Membership — Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (dpeaflcio.org)
The Top 10 Reasons to Be a Librarian | Education & Careers (ala.org)