LIBRARY SERVICES

library-services-harry Potter-scholastic book club

LIBRARY RESEARCH, RESEARCH AND INFORMATION SERVICES

Public school libraries in the Houston area support core educational curriculum. Library media specialists work closely with students and collaborate with teachers to develop digital and information literacy and technology skills.  These library media skills increase student achievement in reading, language arts, social studies, math, and science. 

The Role of the School Librarian

In addition to planning and hosting fun school wide events like the popular Scholastic Book Club, book fairs, and book “tastings”, school librarians help students learn important research skills. Public school librarians have access to a multitude of resources: books and print materials, online databases, reference sources, and internet tools. Some technology tools used in Houston public school libraries are Adobe Spark, Flipgrid, and makerspace resources.  School library media specialists are important instructional consultants to support and better our existing educational curriculum. 

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Angleton Library

Charter Schools and Libraries

Libraries and state-certified librarians are not mandatory at charter schools.  The independently operated charter schools have more freedom with their spending and they usually have smaller facilities. For this reason, some charter schools choose to implement classroom libraries, which can be limited in content and variety.  Charter schools usually don’t invest in centralized school libraries and qualified, certified librarians. 

When more than 90% of the nation’s public schools have central libraries and certified librarians, most of the charter schools do not. (American Libraries Magazine)

While over 90% of the nation’s traditional public schools have a central library and state-certified librarians, most charter schools do not. (American Libraries Magazine)

The Importance of Libraries in Schools

Public school librarians help students develop critical thinking skills which supports lifelong learning.  Consistent evidence shows that when students have easy access to many books, all aspects of literacy improve. In addition, research shows that children in schools with school libraries learn better, earn better grades, and get higher test scores than similar students in schools that do not have libraries.

Technology and the internet will not eliminate the need for traditional libraries.  A very small percentage of printed information is available online. Therefore, the web will never suffice as an appropriate substitute for libraries. (National Council of Teachers of EnglishCentral school libraries serve a unique purpose as a hub where a student can learn research skills and information skills, as well as digital citizenship. Our Houston area public school libraries are centers where our students can comfortably explore books on various topics and at different educational levels. 

Other Sources:

Charter Schools Less Likely to Have Libraries–  The Washington Post

School Librarians Missing at Private and Charter Schools– Journal of the American Association of School Librarians

How is School Choice Freedom When Students Lose School Libraries-Nancy Bailey’s Education Website

Librarian Jobs Near Me- Houston Area– Glassdoor

How to Get a Library Card– Houston Public Library

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