Sent to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan 10, 2017
The most important sentence in "Philadelphia school district librarians: A species nearly extinct?" (January 9) is: "The research is clear: Students who attend schools with libraries and credentialed librarians perform better on standardized tests than those who lack them. Lower-income students benefit the most."
The reason: Studies show that the most consistent and important predictor of reading achievement is the amount of self-selected reading students do. The school library is an important source of reading material for all students and is often the only source for students living in poverty. The school librarian is often the major source of information and advice about selecting reading material and is responsible for making sure quality reading material of interest to students is available, whether print or electronic.
Given the centrality of reading ability, the Philadelphia School District's lack of support for libraries and credentialed librarians makes school success impossible for many students.
University of Southern California
original article: http://linkis.com/www.philly.com/phill/zDAVY