Virginia Association of School Librarians issues statement in support of Spotsy School libraries
VIRGINIA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL LIBRARIANS
RE: Support for Spotsylvania County Public School Librarians and the Spotsylvania County Community
The Virginia Association of School Librarians stand with our colleagues in Spotsylvania County Public Schools. These school librarians are certified teachers, instructional partners, and information specialists. They have had additional training as library program administrators, work as educational leaders, and are vital members of their learning communities at every school in their county.
Multiple educational research studies have proven the educational effectiveness of having a certified librarian on staff and the effect a certified librarian has on student learning and literacy. We support the parents, educators, school board, and community of Spotsylvania County as they strive to offer the best educational opportunities. This will not be possible without the continuation of the high quality school library programs presently offered in their public schools.
The Virginia Department of Education and its leadership recognizes the importance of offering a school library program in Virginia public schools. This is reflected in the Administrative Code of Virginia: “Each school shall maintain an organized library media center as the resource center of the school and provide a unified program of media services and activities for students and teachers before, during, and after school.
The library media center shall contain hard copy, electronic technological resources, materials, and equipment that are sufficient to meet research, inquiry, and reading requirements of the instructional program and general student interest.” 8VAC20-131-190. Library media, materials, and equipment. (virginia.gov) accessed 3/30/23. Additionally, the Code of Virginia offers requirements for employment of librarians in Virginia public schools.“Each local school board shall employ, at a minimum, the following full-time equivalent positions for any school that reports fall membership, according to student enrollment: Librarians in elementary schools, one part-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students; librarians in middle schools, one-half
time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 1,000 students; librarians in high schools, one half-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 1,000 students.” § 22.1-253.13:2. (Effective pursuant to Va. Const, Art. IV, 13; for Effective Date, see Acts 2022, cc. 549, 550, cl. 2) Standard 2. Instructional, administrative, and support personnel (virginia.gov) accessed 3/20/23.
The Virginia Association of School Librarians supports the Spotsylvania County Public School librarians. We intend to work with them, their fellow educators, and community members in affecting a resolution that will continue their library programs to the same superior quality as in years past, with certified school librarians continuing in their position.