One of the Coalition's objectives is the need to convince the public - parents, trustees and politicians - that there are serious problems facing school libraries in the province.  This card was created to assist concerned citizens to recognize the limits imposed on schools when inadequate funding reduces or destroys a viable, educationally sound program that could make a difference to children and young adults.

This card and the bookmark are available without charge from the Coalition.  The text for the card is rather small on this image so it has been repeated in full text under the card image and there is also a link to a PDF version.

To view and print a PDF version of the text below
Does your child have a good school library?

Studies 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 student.

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 web?

If the answers to these questions do not provide you with a level of confidence…

•  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.

•  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 ]

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





...because student achievment is the bottom line...