April is School Library Media Month and the American Library Association wants to remind everyone of the key role the school library media centers play in preparing children of all ages to succeed in school and throughout their lives.
Today's school library media center is key in teaching students not just to read but to practice the skills they need to seek, evaluate, and use information throughout their lives. In fact, research shows students from schools with professionally staffed, fully-equipped libraries score higher on achievement tests.
The best way to find out if your child's school library measures up, is to pay a visit and ask the following questions suggested by the American Association of School Libraries, a division of the American Library Association:
*Is there a state-certified, full-time school library media specialist?
*Do students have access to the school library anytime during the day when he or she needs to use its resources? Does the library offer remote access from home via computer?
*Does your child visit the school library frequently with his class? Individually?
*Are students encouraged to read, view, and listen both for understanding and enjoyment?
*Are teachers encouraged to work with the school library media specialist to extend learning opportunities beyond the textbook and classroom?
*Is there an ongoing evaluation of the school library?
For more information about school libraries and information literacy, contact the American Association of School Librarians, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, (312) 280-4386; email: email@example.com, or visit the AASL's Web site at www.ala.org/aasl/.