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Books

The importance of school libraries

School libraries
A student reads her book while waiting for story time with her class at the San Pedro Elementary School library.
( Los Angeles Times)

With an emphasis on test scores and “digital literacy,” there is a myth among many that the school library is irrelevant and even old-fashioned. Talk to students and you will find that they don’t feel this way. Children want access to books. They want to spend time in a library perusing titles and discussing what they are reading.

Research shows that the time children spend reading a book instead of a tablet results in higher levels of literacy and a greater likelihood that they will read more. The best place to get access to interesting books is the school library.

A snapshot of the importance of school libraries:

When children visit the school library, their interest in reading and discussing what they read grows.

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Children who have access to books they can take home read better than those who don’t.

Children learn to read by reading but can do so only if they have something to read.

What can parents do?

Advocate within your school and district for school libraries.

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If you have time, volunteer in the library.

Talk with your child about visits to the library and encourage discussions around books they are reading.

Read with, near and around your child. A love for reading is not only a foundation for school success. Books have the potential to become a lifelong friend.

Reading by 9 is a bilingual guide for parents and educators to help kids read at the appropriate level by age 9, a crucial indicator of future academic success.


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