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Dear APLA Members,

 

I am forwarding this response, with permission and for information, from
Premier Dexter of Nova Scotia regarding our letter opposing cuts to school
libraries in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board district.  Two
additional letters were sent regarding cuts in other school districts to
which I have not yet received acknowledgement, but I assume the responses,
if and when they come, will be similar to the substance of this letter.

 

Updates on the situation are welcome from any of our members closer to this
issue, either posted to this list or forwarded to any member of the
Executive.

 

Thanks,

 

Jocelyne

 

-----------------------_________________________________________

Jocelyne Thompson

President

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: May-15-12 11:12 AM
To: Thompson, Jocelyne
Subject: Re: Open letter to the Premier of Nova Scotia opposing cuts to
school libraries

 

Good morning Ms. Thompson:

 

Please find attached Premier Dexter's response to your e-mail of April 15,
2012.

 

Warm Regards,

 

Lana McGlinchey

Correspondence Unit

Office of the Premier

Province of Nova Scotia

 



 

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>>> "Jocelyne Thompson" <[log in to unmask]> 4/15/2012 3:25 PM >>>

Please note, signed original will follow in the mail.

 

 

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Atlantic Provinces Library Association

School of Information Management

Faculty of Management - Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building

6100 University Ave., Halifax, Nova Scotia

B3H 3J5

 

 

Premier Darrell Dexter

Office of the Premier

P.O. Box 726

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2T3

 

 

April 16, 2012

 

 

Open letter to the Premier of Nova Scotia opposing cuts to school libraries

 

 

Dear Premier Dexter:

 

I am writing on behalf of the Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA)
to express our dismay at the recent news of planned cuts to the school
libraries in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board district which
would, if implemented, affect more than 40 FTE library professionals, and
impoverish the educational experience for thousands of students.  Your
Government's intervention in this case was a welcome response although the
outcome of the review that has been mandated is uncertain.  In the
circumstances, it is our wish, and indeed our responsibility, to remind the
Government of the importance of school libraries to student success.

 

We understand that the Board has some difficult decisions to make in order
to balance a reduced budget, but school libraries are not the place to cut.
School libraries are partners in the educational process, playing an
integral role in a resource-based curriculum. School library professionals
provide students with environments and learning opportunities that allow
them to develop the literacy, critical thinking, and information literacy
skills necessary for full participation in a knowledge- based economy.
These skills are absolutely essential for students going on to
post-secondary education.   

 

 

Research clearly shows a direct correlation between properly funded and
staffed school libraries and student achievement:

 

.         larger collections of library materials for students mean higher
achievement;

.         higher spending on books and other materials correlates with
improved reading scores;

.         library staffing levels correlate with test scores (in fact, U.S.
studies have consistently shown a 10-25% increase in scores on standardized
tests for students with a school librarian);

.         increased student visits to the library correlate with higher test
scores; 

.         hours of operation of the school library also have a positive
effect (the more open hours, the higher the test scores).

 

As the above is true, the reverse is also true, that students without access
to a well-stocked and staffed school library will do less well.  Children
with poor literacy skills are likely to become adults with poor literacy
skills, and the human toll and social costs of weak adult literacy are
well-known.  Any short-term savings realized by reduced spending on school
libraries will be more than offset by the future costs arising from
underemployment and poverty and their attendant problems, including poorer
health, lower levels of education in the children born to these
circumstances, and greater reliance on social welfare and healthcare
programs.

 

APLA would urge the Government of Nova Scotia to make a renewed and
long-term commitment to school libraries by providing the funding necessary
to support them, to the benefit of students and society as a whole.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Jocelyne Thompson

President