Thursday, March 12, 2009

Teacher-Librarian Cuts at TDSB

OLA Blog: 2009 March 12

Is student success important to the Toronto District School Board? One does wonder, in the face of last night’s decision to cut teacher-librarian staffing for next year. Not only has the Government of Ontario signaled their recognition of the need for increased library staffing through new monies over four years but also research done through Queen’s University in 2006 indicates

• Grade 3 and 6 students in schools with teacher-librarians are more likely to report their enjoy reading
• Schools with trained library staff are more likely to have a higher proportion of grade 6 students who attained level 3 or higher on reading tests
• Schools without trained library staff tend to have lower achievement on the grades 3 and 6 reading tests :

Similar findings have been reported in close to two dozen States in the US in recent years.

This news from TDSB Trustees comes at a most unfortunate time. Until recently, the state of school libraries has been in steady decline due to on-going funding cuts. A study released in February of this year states: “The ad hoc approach to the role of school libraries in education from the three levels of administrations (school, board and province) results in the hard-won expertise and knowledge vanishing from the education system”. At a time when literacy gains and graduation rates are showing promise, can we really afford to put our school libraries in jeopardy once again?

McGuinty Government Expands School Library Services. Ministry of Education. February 14, 2008; retrieved March 12th, 2009.

School Libraries & Student Achievement in Ontario. The Ontario Library Association, a study by Queen’s University and People for Education, April 2006.

Exemplary School Libraries in Ontario. Klinger, D.A.; Lee, E.A.; Stephens, G.; Deluca, C.; Luu, K; 2009