Letters to the Editor

Fewer librarians will diminish students' success

I was horrified to learn of the proposed cuts to the teacher-librarians in Federal Way (May 13 Mirror, news article, “School budget leaves some in ‘complete shock’”).

As a parent of a current ninth-grader and a kindergartener beginning in the fall, I understand the impact that an effective school library program can have on student tests scores.

A study in 2000-01 from University of Central Florida demonstrated that state student assessment test scores were 20 percent higher at high schools that had at least one full-time professional librarian and one full-time assistant. For elementary schools, the same level of staffing yielded a 9 percent improvement.

A recent study from Ontario showed that teacher-librarians were the single strongest predictor of reading enjoyment for students in grades three and six.

The Federal Way Public Schools Web site has as its logo “Every Student a Reader.” How can we possibly claim that for our children when we have virtually no teacher-librarians in our schools?

Jana Fullerton


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