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President highlights the importance of education to economic recovery

As President Obama stated in his first State of the Union address last night, “In the 21st century, one of the best anti-poverty programs is a world-class education.”

The ALA believes that a world-class education includes instruction from a state-certified school librarian, teachers who know the school’s curriculum and effective techniques necessary to cross disciplines and integrate information and technology literacy.

As instructional leaders in their schools, school librarians teach the use of computer-technology skills to find, use, share and create information, emphasizing their role in training students and teachers in the use of these tools to communicate more effectively, conduct research more efficiently, and increase productivity.

Research repeatedly shows that a well-funded and fully staffed school library program with a state-licensed school librarian is an integral component of a student’s education. Across the United States, studies have demonstrated that students in schools with strong school libraries learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized test scores than their peers in schools without such resources.

In his speech, President Obama called for reforms to all fifty states when Congress reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year.

The ALA once again calls on the Administration and Congress to specifically include school librarians and libraries in the reauthorization of this important legislation.

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Emily Sheketoff

Emily Sheketoff is the former Associate Executive Director of the American Library Association's Washington Office.

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