The National Education Association (NEA) is set to launch a study to measure student access to school librarians and libraries. The project was approved by its Representative Assembly at the organization’s annual meeting that just ended in Orlando, FL.
The study will examine issues around school libraries and staffing, from current state laws and the requirements they lay out for schools to the ratio of “professionally qualified school librarians to student, by state,” according to NEA’s web site. The educational advocacy group will also look at additional topics, including school library closings—how many, the grade levels at schools affected by shuttered libraries, as well as school librarian positions that have been lost.
NEA has long recognized the importance of student access to school librarians, and school libraries. But the organization is actively working with U.S. lawmakers this week to ensure that the language in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) is “broad enough to include access to school librarians,” says Mary Kusler, NEA’s director of government relations.
“Certainly [student] access to trained librarians is really critical,” says Kusler. “Once the bill gets through the Senate and the House, and to the President’s desk, and the dialogue moves to all 50 states, that every state legislature and governor is aware that trained school librarians are important to students and critical to impacting outcomes.”
As part of that effort, NEA’s Opportunity Dashboard now mentions access to librarians, media specialists, and library/media studies as among the indicators to track and measure student success. Although the new language does not represent any change of policy or even the spirit of the fact sheet, NEA’s librarian members requested the addition, which was just updated within the last week.
NEA notes the study will cost an additional $36,500 to run, and will be “published through digital channels,” according to the site.
Texto original retirado do site School Library Journal.
BARACK, Lauren. NEA Approves National School Library Study. School Library Journal: 7 jul. 2015. Disponível em: <http://www.slj.com/2015/07/research/nea-approves-national-school-library-study/>. Acesso em: 7 jul. 2015.