Why Good Libraries are Important for Education

Neighborhoods with high poverty rates have lower test scores. Education is affected by lack of access to resources. Libraries and their staff (both in schools and out of schools) are part of those resources that can help bridge the achievement gap between rich and poor students. Working-class children hear 10 million words before they enter kindergarten compared to the 30 million that kids with professional parents hear. That initial vocabulary gap is predictive of reading comprehension in high school (Beth Fertig "Why Can't U Teach Me 2 Read?"). The gap is developed in part by lack of access to literary materials, which libraries provide free of charge, and probably continues because of the perpetual inaccessibility of libraries to the inner-city. I'm sure Schaumburg has great test scores that are in part due to its great main library and school libraries. Let's make it a city goal to have good libraries, and our students (and their test scores) will benefit from the plentiful access to educational resources.

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