IRA calls for increased funding for libraries. In many schools, libraries now have few books for each child; the condition of the books and the staffing of the libraries is deteriorating. This has serious implications for children’s literacy: Children who have access to books are more likely to read for enjoyment and information; children increase their reading skills by reading.
Libraries must be able to purchase a sufficient number of new books per student, and to replace older materials on an annual basis. Libraries should offer storybooks, novels, biographies, nonfiction texts, magazines, poetry, and a multitude of other types of materials to match the interests and reading abilities of the children they serve.
The Association advocates that teachers, librarians, and school administrators
- Request appropriate numbers of books for classrooms, school libraries, and public libraries
- Inform parents and policymakers of the importance of access to books
- Remind policymakers of the need to allot funding for books
The Association further recommends that researchers
- Conduct surveys to determine children’s access to books at home
- Continue to study the benefits of access to books