The article Why children are failing at writing in the Monday 24 September edition of the New Zealand Herald points to the relation between reading and achievement levels of New Zealand students. It highlights the importance of free access to books, thus highlighting the school library’s significance to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Studies show that children who have better reading experiences become successful lifelong learners. School library staff have a critical role to play. Their expertise in providing engaging reading material and targeted resources are vital to the challenges of falling achievement levels. Those schools in NZ whose libraries are not adequately staffed become the additional responsibility of a busy teacher or are run by untrained volunteers.
Students who are able to process text in a meaningful way consistently have better school results than those for whom reading is challenging. School librarians at all levels of education are dedicated to sharing the love of reading, working with teaching staff to help children acquire the skills to learn to read, and fostering an interest in reading which can be a lifelong pleasure.
A school librarian also supports inquiry learning. The digital future our students face require new and ever growing list of skills including searching the internet, referencing sources, curating information and using social networking safely. These are skills that school librarians support students in using effectively.
A well-resourced school library that is staffed with a qualified, passionate librarian or teacher librarian becomes the learning centre of a school. This is the place where all students can find what they need to develop as confident and capable readers and users of information. A dedicated team working in a school library makes a significant difference to the overall achievement of a school.
For further information contact:
Communication Leader SLANZA