your child have a good school library?
have shown that school library programs have a significant effect
on the learning achievement of students. It is important that parents
take an interest in this important area of the school at a time
when funding has been reduced for many school libraries in BC.
Rate your school library by finding answers to these questions.
Talk to the teacher-librarian, the principal, the school board trustees
if your school library doesn’t meet these standards. Ask how the
situation can be remedied.
1. Is the school library staffed by a professional teacher-librarian
with adequate time to work with students and teachers? Canadian
standards*, call for a full time teacher-librarian for 300-700 students.
2. Do clerical staff shelve and check out books? Clerks can
free teacher-librarians to work with students.
3. Is the school library open to students before school, at lunch
and after school? Many school libraries are closed during
these hours due to low staffing levels.
4. What is the annual budget for materials? Canadian standards*
recommend $26-35 per elementary student, $36-45 for each secondary
5. Are the materials in the school library current and a good match
for your child’s assignments? Does your child use the library?
6. Ask your child if the teacher-librarian works with the class
to assist students to learn.
7. Is the Internet part of your student's resources? Does
the teacher-librarian help your student make the best use of the
If the answers to these questions do not provide you with a level
• Ask your principal, teachers, school board members and
superintendent how you can help to improve the school library.
• Join your Parent's Advisory Group and get the school library
issue on their agenda.
• Join the BC Coalition for School Libraries, a group of
concerned citizens, businesses and community groups, working to
improve school library programs in the province. http://www.bccsl.ca
• Find out more about the school library through these documents:
* Achieving Information Literacy: Standards for School Library
Programs in Canada. Canadian School Library Association &
Association for Teacher-Librarianship in Canada.
Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 2003. [Copies are available
@ $24.95 from CLA,
328 Frank Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 0X8 (613) 232-9625 (x 310)
Haycock, Ken. The Crisis in Canada's School Libraries: the Case
for Reform and Re-investment. Toronto: Association of Canadian Publishers
and Canada Heritage, 2003 [available on the web at www.bccsl.ca/HaycockReport.pdf
Published by the BC Coalition for School Libraries. Copies
may be made for any educational purposes without permission.
Additional copies are available without charge from: BCCSL #150
- 900 Howe Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 2M4