"The policy of having large classroom libraries was found to be 'one of the most important differential policies between high-scoring and low-scoring countries' . . . a powerful indicator for both nine-year-olds and fourteen-year-olds." So says an international study by the Australian School Library Association (Report on the Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement).
Classroom libraries provide books to those who have none. They extend and reinforce curriculum, foster independent discussions, encourage exploration into unknown genres and areas of high interest. They include not just print volumes, but also computers and audio books. And they certainly are not limited to elementary school classrooms. I recently visited Dr. Reba Wadsworth, a Decatur, Alabama, principal, and went away inspired. Her library overwhelmed her desk, her bookcases, and her windows. With volume and variety, she proclaimed: "Reading is important and informative, fascinating and fun." What does your library say to its visitors?
An effective library collection contains more than "should" reads. It also holds the most intriguing, intoxicating, invigorating fact and fiction, rotated and revitalized regularly.WHAT ABOUT YOUR LIBRARY?
The questions below will help you evaluate the contents of your classroom library:
With the above guidelines, you can create a classroom library students will turn to for information, research, pleasure, and comfort. Let the ideas expand your collection or create a new resource for your students. Most importantly, use your library to increase opportunities for student learning and engagement, and to turn them on to the power of reading.MORE RESOURCES
See the following for more help choosing appropriate text for your classroom library: