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The East Greenwich High School Library has been without a librarian for the 2017-18 school year. The Town Council and School Committee have failed to fix this serious issue. As a result, East Greenwich High School students have no access to the school library; the same library that our tax dollars paid over $1 million to update several years ago. In order to support the East Greenwich district’s four stated desired outcomes (Academic achievement, Student growth, Student well-being, and Success in life), it is essential that every school in East Greenwich, RI have a full-time, certified library media specialist ...

The East Greenwich High School Library has been without a librarian for the 2017-18 school year. The Town Council and School Committee have failed to fix this serious issue. As a result, East Greenwich High School students have no access to the school library; the same library that our tax dollars paid over $1 million to update several years ago. In order to support the East Greenwich district’s four stated desired outcomes (Academic achievement, Student growth, Student well-being, and Success in life), it is essential that every school in East Greenwich, RI have a full-time, certified library media specialist.

Why do librarians matter?

  • Librarians prepare students for college-level research and information literacy skills that contribute to lifelong learning and success.

  • Over 21 state studies demonstrate that school librarians support student achievement.

  • Test scores are significantly higher in schools that employ full-time certified school librarians.

  • Librarians provide library skills classes and book checkout, technology skills classes, technology-support, enrichment classes, and collection development.

  • Librarians collaborate with teachers to provide background information and curricular support, as well as training on new technology and initiatives.

  • Without a full-time librarian, our high school is at risk of losing accreditation

If you agree that East Greenwich students deserve a full-time librarian in every school, please sign our petition and make your voice heard.

HISTORY

In June 2017, the East Greenwich School Committee failed to hire a replacement school library media specialist for the East Greenwich High School in East Greenwich, RI. Due to a budget dispute between the East Greenwich School Committee and the East Greenwich Town Council, the students of EGHS have lacked the expertise and assistance of a library media specialist for the 2017 -2018 school year. As supporters of East Greenwich schools and its students, teachers, staff, and parents, we believe that is is essential that every school in East Greenwich, RI have a full-time, certified librarian media specialist.

  • The East Greenwich School Libraries’ budget has been $0 for the past three years. No new books or resources have been purchased since 2014. How do we inspire a love of reading with outdated books?

  • In the last 7 years, 3 of the East Greenwich Teachers of the Year have been Library Media Specialists (Phyllis Humphrey, 2016; Beth Gorter, 2015; and Connie Zack, 2011)

According to the East Greenwich “Strategic Plan: Our Vision 2020,” East Greenwich is committed to “fully integrate essential 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving into our Curriculum.” Library media specialists’ focus and training on reading, information literacy, digital and media literacy, research, technology, and community outreach target the essential skills of critical thinking and problem solving that are vital to the success of our students. Over 21 state studies find that school librarians support student achievement. A full time library media specialist in every school directly serves the district’s four stated desired outcomes: academic achievement, student growth, student well-being, and success in life. The lack of a full-time library media specialist puts East Greenwich in danger of violating NEASC standards, rules, and regulations.

On January 18, 2018, the Library Lions, an East Greenwich advocacy group, hosted a local poetry slam. In his opening remarks, Kieran Ayton, the President of the Rhode Island Library and the Emerging Technologies and Digital Initiatives Librarian at Rhode Island College said, “As part of my job at the Rhode Island College library, I teach research instruction to first year students, freshman who have recently graduated from high school. I can tell you without hesitation that students who come from high schools with a strong high school librarian perform better in their first year writing and first year seminar classes. They have received the training needed for critical thinking and evaluating information sources. In a day and age when we are facing the potential rollback of net neutrality, you cannot put a price tag on the individuals in a student’s life who teach them the skills to distinguish between Fake news and real news.”

Lisa Girard, the President of School Librarians of Rhode Island, added, “School librarians know their students. They know what they like to read and they are up on the latest trends in Young Adult literature. School librarians collaborate with their colleagues to make sure the library has materials to support the curriculum and to aid students in schoolwork, research and senior projects. In most schools, librarians are the leaders of technology.  Helping students and colleagues alike with Google Classroom, ebooks and digital curriculum… In a thriving school, a library is a hub of activity, learning and comfort to all.  Let’s work towards making this a reality at East Greenwich High school once again. Let’s work toward unlocking the doors for the students waiting outside.

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Send an Email to Support East Greenwich school Libraries

Please send an email to the School Board and Town Council to show your support for school libraries in East Greenwich and to add your name to the growing list of supporters.

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