School libraries are essential to ensuring that all children have access to books. There are families who can’t afford to buy books, and a school library is sometimes the only place these children can find books that they want to read.
Indisputably, children and adolescents benefit when they attend schools with degreed librarians and well-developed library collections (Scholastic, 2018). We also know that providing kids with reliable access to books is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to influence their achievement. (Allington, McGill-Franzen 2014). Unfortunately, too many young people live in “book deserts” without meaningful, consistent access to books at school and home–disproportionately impoverished children of color in rural and urban communities.
The research is clear, much of what we describe as the “achievement gap” is caused by differential access to books (Alexander et al., 2007). Themajority of public school children live in poverty with limited resources for books. Our school and classroom library collections may be the primary (or sole) source of books for many of the children we serve. Understanding our students depend on schools to provide reading material, our goal is…
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