On April 13, the American Library Association (ALA) released its report on the 2014 State of America’s Libraries during National Library Week, April 13–19, detailing library trends of the past year. Included in the report are trends associated with academic, public, and school libraries; ebooks and copyright issues; social networking; library construction; legislative issues; and intellectual freedom.
The report has a strong focus on the importance of school libraries.
“More than 90 percent of traditional public schools have a school library, but public schools continue to struggle with the impact of funding cuts. For public school libraries, that means that professional staffing has been targeted for cuts nationwide.
The ALA is on the forefront of efforts to shore up support for school libraries.
“On one hand, budget and testing pressures have led to decisions to eliminate or de-professionalize school libraries,” said Barbara K. Stripling, ALA president. “On the other hand, the increased emphasis on college and career readiness and the integration of technology have opened an unprecedented door to school librarian leadership.”
Stripling and the ALA are undertaking an advocacy campaign for school libraries that sets goals in five critical areas: literacy, inquiry, social and emotional growth, creativity and imagination, and thoughtful use of technology. The task for school librarians, Stripling said, is to fulfill the dream that every school across the country will have an effective school library program
Stripling wrote a really excellent short piece on standing up for school libraries, which gets to the heart of the school library being a place of trust and opportunity.
The full text (80 pgs) of the 2014 State of America’s Libraries report is available at http://tinyurl.com/kpy5ct6
Portions of this post were from the April 14 ALA Press Release