Shifts in education driven by global realities open up opportunities for school libraries to play a significant role in school improvement through the learning commons transformation. This capacity is growing in some schools across Canada and the standards will help all schools advance. The role and potential of the school library learning commons is rarely covered in teacher pre-service programs or principal preparation training. There are few universities in Canada offering education degrees that have school library related research capabilities. This situation has been documented in a research report, The crisis in school libraries in Canada (Haycock, 2003). Over twenty years of research shows that student achievement and literacy scores advance where professionally staffed and resourced school libraries are thriving. School libraries make a difference in student achievement (International Association of School Librarianship, 2008).
Learners have a right to expect good school libraries in every school in Canada, Our school libraries should reflect our common values of equity, diversity, and cultural identity as well as best approaches in the educational and library professions. They should be contextually relevant to student need and success. and built, cared for, measured, renewed and sustained on an ongoing basis by their learning communities. We should position school libraries to lead learning for the future.
The time to reinvest is now
|School libraries could support the changes in K-12 schooling that are needed for schools to be centres of 21st century learning. Many provincial curricula expouse this, but few provinces fund school libraries or even mention school libraries as a force for improving teaching and learning or for responding to the demands of a knowledge-based society.
(Oberg, 2014, 5)