Thursday, August 4, 2016

Little support for California’s public libraries

Sent to the Los Angeles Daily News, August 4.

Julie Beth Todaro and Audrey Church are right when they argue that  "Shelving LAUSD’s school librarians would widen the learning gap," (August 3). Making the situation worse is data showing that California's public libraries are not well-supported.

California cities captured seven of the bottom ten places in the public library category of the recent (2015) "America's Most Literate Cities report." The report analyzes data from 77 cities with populations of 250,000 and above, and is based on number of branch libraries, holdings, circulation and staffing.

The bottom ten:
68. Los Angeles
69. Anaheim
72. Bakersfield
73. Sacramento
74. Chula Vista
75. Stockton
77. Santa Ana

Study after study has confirmed that library quality and professional library staffing are directly related to reading achievement.  More access to books, combined with helpful librarians, means more reading, and more reading means higher levels of reading achievement.

No wonder reading achievement is low in California.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

original article:
Julie Todaro is president of the American Library Association. Audrey Church is president of the American Association of School Librarians.

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