Colorado Association of Libraries
COMMITTEE ON JOINT EDUCATION
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07:38 AM -- Colorado Association of Librarians
Dr. Jody Howard, President of the Colorado Association of Libraries, came to the table to tell the committee about school libraries. She provided two handouts, a research paper entitled "School Libraries Work!" and a packet called "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" (Attachments A and B).
Dr. Howard talked about the functions of school librarians, speaking specifically to their qualifications, and talking about the importance of highly qualified school librarians.
Dr. Howard discussed school librarian training programs and how those programs work to ready students to be school librarians. She talked about training for librarians related to technology. Dr. Howard described a study of the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) scores of students who are educated in a school that has a professionally trained school librarian. She said elementary schools have the fewest professionally trained librarians.
Dr. Howard talked about difficulties in getting professionally trained librarians into schools, mentioning that professionally trained librarians often have master's degrees and do not come in at the bottom of the salary scale. She also described challenges around finding professionally trained librarians to work in rural schools. Dr. Howard talked about the importance of teaching students to synthesize information, as well as the importance of supporting students' technology skills, particularly students who do not have access to a computer at home.
Dr. Howard concluded, talking about the importance of critical thinking skills and the role of school librarians in helping students build such skills. She said school librarians are an essential part of a student's education.
Dr. Howard responded to committee questions and comments.