by Dorcas Hand
The Committee on Library Advocacy of the American Library Association published this infographic recently to illustrate the benefits to every K-12 student of open access to a fully funded and fully staffed school library. Students Need Libraries in HISD offers the image to support all the advocates across HISD who are speaking up for equity of access to school libraries for all HISD students. Sadly, it is those neighborhoods with the most challenges that are least likely to have a fully funded school library staffed by a certified school librarian. We are working together to convince Superintendent House, his staff and all the campus administrators across the district to step up for school libraries on behalf of our students and in support of stronger literacy achievement.
The image above is the front page. The back page includes supporting documentation for each point, as illustrated by these examples.
Parents, parent organizations, teachers, and community advocates need to speak out often about the fact that HISD has only about 55 certified librarians for 280 schools. Another 75 or so have certified teachers staffing the library. That leaves approximately 140 schools with either non-certified staff (50) or a closed library. We can do better.
Please share this information with your campus community to be sure they speak up frequently. Start with the campus principal who currently makes that decision - but don’t forget the district, because both the Superintendent’s office and the School Board need to know what benefits students miss out on when not served by a library adequately staffed and stocked with up-to-date, compelling materials.
This blog is primarily authored by Debbie Hall and Dorcas Hand, but guest authors are welcome. If you have an idea to share, please contact our email below. Debbie is a retired HISD librarian and Library Services Specialist. Dorcas is a retired school librarian who remains active in AASL/ALA. Both support increased equity in school library access and support for all HISD students and campuses.