Library Services

Adopted May 1972 – Reaffirmed April 2015 – Education Commission

The California State PTA recognizes the significant contribution to educational enrichment that is provided by both school library/media centers and community (public) libraries. Both serve as centers for teaching many types of research skills as well as recreational purposes for children and adults.

School Library/Media Centers

School library/media centers implement and enhance the core curriculum and instructional program adopted by the school and, at the same time, provide for student enrichment and enjoyment. PTAs should work with schools/school districts to ensure that funding school library/media centers is given the priority necessary to maintain the level of services essential to each student’s educational experience.

The California State PTA believes that every school library/media center should:

  • Be staffed by qualified credentialed personnel who
    – Select appropriate materials and provide activities that support the instructional program;
    – Assist students and staff to become effective users of ideas and information; and
    – Work closely with staff, students and the parent community;
  • Meet the needs of all students by teaching the research skills necessary to obtain specific information; and
  • Maintain and update print and non-print collections and/or have access to existing information through the use of various technologies.

The California State PTA believes that school library/media centers are important to student learning. When budget cuts cause the elimination of full-time credentialed librarian positions, PTAs are encouraged to make every effort to work with their school districts to seek alternative solutions to keep library/media centers open for students’ use.

Community (Public) Libraries

The California State PTA acknowledges the important role of community libraries. Community libraries supplement school library/media centers by providing broader services for students and by providing expanded opportunities for all children and adults to develop skills for life-long learning. PTAs should work to encourage every community to provide the necessary public and private funds for a total library service that will meet the needs of its population.

The California State PTA believes that to provide the highest quality services for all, community libraries should:

  • Identify and make available a broad array of services which will meet the needs of the community and keep the community informed about available services;
  • Maintain and update print and non-print collections that meet community needs;
  • Provide access to information through the use of various technologies;
  • Identify and meet special needs within the community by providing qualified staff and selected resources that address these needs;
  • Provide programs to eliminate adult illiteracy; and
  • Ensure equal access to all services of the library such as special programs for young readers and services for the physically disabled.

† PTA is sensitive to the serious handicap to the person and family when an individual is unable to read. PTA actively supports school, community and library-based programs to eliminate adult illiteracy.

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