Travel to Olympia
Check Out Our Blog
Will school libraries become a part of the
dialog on funding basic education?
Help save school libraries and make 21st century skills a priority.
|We're selling shirts to cover our expenses and promote our cause. shop here
Our first design is based on an original photograph by Edwin S. Loyola and matches our website. Thanks Edwin!
|Listen to Dr. Michael Eisenberg speak about the need to fund Teacher Librarians in Washington State. click here to listen (MP3 file)
Audio produced and edited by
Michael R. Wood. Music by Ben Hunter
involved in building a sustainable model for life-long learning. The coalition provides the energy, organization and
leadership required to sustain support for school librarians and effective collaboration models'
Gene Sharratt, Washington State University
'I’ve spent my career in quality of life issues, having served three governors as Economic Development Commissioner and chairing the state’s Quality of Life task force.
In all the hearings I did across the state, large and small communities, the singular most important issue is the quality of
our schools. We simply will not succeed in a world economy, where our product will never be the least expensive, if we
don’t build knowledge based product.
I believe strongly that lowering our library capacity to part time service sends the wrong message to our children, our
parents, our targeted companies and “family friendly” future employers. They simply will go where they know children are
being mentored to read, research, problem solve…follow their personal “thrill of the hunt”. A librarian is person who
unlocks and nurtures this adventure. It is a full time job involving research, training and commitment.'
Don Barbieri, Chairman, Red Lion Corporation
'Teacher-librarians just make good sense: educationally, in terms of student performance and economically, in terms of
“bang for the buck.”
This is the information age. Key, basic skills for all students are reading, communicating, information and technology
literacy. To quote Bill Gates, “Computers today are a million times more powerful than 20 years ago. And, it’s going to
happen again. In 20 years, computers will be a million times more powerful than today.”
What does that mean for our children? What will it mean to live and succeed in such a world? Our children will need to be
more than literate – they will need to be fluent in reading, communicating, information processing and technology.
In schools, the only teaching professional directly dedicated to seeing that our children gain these skills is the teacher-
librarian. The mission of the teacher-librarian is “to ensure that students are effective users of ideas and information.” They
fulfill this role in 3 ways:
- reading teacher and advocate,
- information and technology skills teacher
- chief information officer (CIO) responsible for managing information systems, resources, and services.
expensive. And, I’m not talking about just in the physical library. I’m talking about textbooks, networks, online resources
available to students, teachers, and parents 24/7. Who is going to see that they are effectively used and efficiently managed? The teacher-librarian as CIO, that’s who.
Let me ask you to consider a hypothetical choice: If your own child could only learn one thing this year: the Pythagorean theorem or how to find, evaluate, and use information – which would you choose? Well, of course we don’t question the need for math teachers, but somehow we seem to be doing so for teacher-librarians who teach our kids essential information and technology skills.
The solution is to clearly define what we want for our kids – fluency in essential skills and jobs and success in the information age – and to invest in and hold accountable our teacher-librarians and library programs to ensure that our students have these information/research skills.'
Mike Eisenberg, University of Washington
Keith Curry Lance, PhD
'School libraries have often been regarded as "costs" rather than "investments" because administrators and board members have not been fully informed of the potential return for each dollar committed to library media services. I have never been a school librarian. I have, however, been a high school teacher, a high school assistant principal, a high school principal, and a professor of educational administrator at the University of Nebraska over the past forty years. In both my research and my experience, I have seen that the presence of a quality school librarian and a quality school library media program can make a substantial difference in the quality of students' experiences as they progress through school.'
Gary Hartzell, PhD
'Libraries of all kinds are vital to our society to develop a literate, informed populace. As the director of Spokane Public Library I see the complimentary relationship between the school libraries and the public libraries every day. The public library focuses heavily on early childhood development and provides programs and materials for children from the time they are born. Research shows that the first few years are critical to brain development and a strong foundation for reading and academic success is formed at this early age. But once children reach school age they need to continue their relationship with the library in order to develop a love of reading, learning and intellectual pursuit that will serve them well throughout their lives. School libraries support the curriculum and the role of public libraries is to provide materials and support for independent learning and inquiry. The public library is not a substitute for the school library and vice versa. A good measure of the community's commitment to the quality of life of its citizens is the quality of its libraries and the calibre of its library staff.'
Director of Public Libraries
City of Spokane
'At this time in history, the dawn of the 21st century, there's never been a more important time for our students (who are becoming citizens of a global society beyond anything we as educators could have imagined in our childhood) to have ALL the tools and access to all the tools, to make their future sound. All children, regardless of socioeconomic level, should have access to the world of books and technology that a well funded school library can provide for them from pre-kindergarten through their educational career.'
Dr. Christie Kaaland
Stephen Krashen, Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California
President of Antioch University-Seattle