Friday, September 2, 2011

Does the public school nearest to you have a library??

Unfortunately, there are quite a few public schools in America that have underwhelming or non-existent libraries. A recent conversation lead to this post including various programs, organizations, resources and outlets related to literacy and it's correlation to access to libraries.
Please feel free to add comments including other resources that may not be listed.

Projects and Organizations Dedicated to building/re-opening libraries:

West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC)

WePAC's mission is to promote childhood literacy by engaging volunteers in Philadelphia public schools through re-opening and staffing libraries, academic mentoring, and after-school enrichment. In our vision, every Philadelphia student will be empowered with the literacy skills vital to the success of the child and the prosperity of our community.

Room to Read

Room to Read works in collaboration with governments, organizations and communities to develop literacy skills in developing countries.

Library Build

Founded in December 2009 by Callie Hammond,
Library Build
is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to ending educational inequities in Philadelphia, PA and in other American cities.

Excerpt from an article written about Library Build in the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal:

The glaring lack of library resources, and the resulting potential effects on children’s academic achievement, resonated with Hammond. The idea for Library Build was conceived in November 2009. Since then, Hammond, Library Build’s founder and CEO, along with her husband, Jeff, who has signed on as co-founder and COO, have worked quickly and tirelessly to bring her idea to fruition.

Library Build’s mission is to bring books, computers, and librarians into Philadelphia’s public schools. According to Hammond, the inclusion of librarians is critical, as they play a pivotal role in acclimating students to computers and other media, teaching the basics of research, and engendering a holistic approach to reading and learning. She says, “Students need librarians to teach them not only how to use the library, but also how to enjoy it.” Hammond says that the organization will use the Teach for America model, recruiting college graduates with master’s degrees in Library Science to commit to two years of service as full-time librarians in city schools.

Library Build defines a library as providing 12-15 books per student. In addition, Hammond makes the point that it’s important to provide the kinds of books that students are interested in.

Library Build’s model incorporates space renovation and relies on input from students and teachers about the books, computers, and other resources they need. Hammond hopes Library Build will become a national model. The goal in Philadelphia is to start at the elementary school level, targeting those schools that have no library at all.

Complete PSIJ Article

Related Blogs/Publications:

A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette

Academic Librarian

American Libraries Magazine

Awful Library Books

Bright Ideas

Disruptive Library Technology Jester

Everybody's Libraries

Handheld Librarian

Library Garden

Library Grants

Never Ending Search

Social Networking in Libraries

The Association for Library Service to Children Blog

The Best Of PubLib

The Daring Librarian

The Library History Buff

The 'M' Word - Marketing Libraries

The Merry Librarian

Walt at Random

What I Learned Today


American Library Association/Association for Library Service to Children

Public Library Association

Urban Libraries Council

American Association of School Librarians

Librarians for Fairness

International Association of School Librarianship

Government Data:

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Academic library data

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