Friday, August 5, 2016

LA Unified Reopens All District Libraries — But Forgets About the Books

LA Unified reopens all district libraries — but forgets about the books
LA School Report: 8.04.2016 by Mike Szymanski

For the first time since some school libraries were shuttered during budget cuts in 2008, all of the LA Unified school libraries will be back up and running when school starts again on August 16.

But according to the latest district estimates, the majority of students across Los Angeles will still be forced to rely on under-stocked library collections filled with outdated materials.

District numbers show that the average age of a book in a LAUSD library is now more than 20 years old, and that the books-per-student ratio is a shocking 35 percent below the state average. Even more dire: Most district schools have only a minimal budget to spend on bridging this gap—if they have any additional library funds at all.  READ MORE @

Little support for California’s public libraries
Sent to the Los Angeles Daily News, August 4.
Krashen: 8.04.2016

Julie Beth Todaro and Audrey Church are right when they argue that  "Shelving LAUSD’s school librarians would widen the learning gap," (August 3). Making the situation worse is data showing that California's public libraries are not well-supported.

California cities captured seven of the bottom ten places in the public library category of the recent (2015) "America's Most Literate Cities report." The report analyzes data from 77 cities with populations of 250,000 and above, and is based on number of branch libraries, holdings, circulation and staffing.

The bottom ten:
68. Los Angeles
69. Anaheim
72. Bakersfield
73. Sacramento
74. Chula Vista
75. Stockton
77. Santa Ana

Study after study has confirmed that library quality and professional library staffing are directly related to reading achievement.  More access to books, combined with helpful librarians, means more reading, and more reading means higher levels of reading achievement.

No wonder reading achievement is low in California.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

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