School Library Advocacy

The Value of School Libraries

 For generations, school libraries have been at the core of Ontario’s schools, with a proven impact on student achievement and standardized test scores. However, over the past 20 years, students all across Ontario have been steadily losing access to school libraries and library-based resources.

The results are dramatic: alongside the slow decline in board-level support for school libraries, the percentage of Ontario students who enjoy reading has fallen from 76% in 1997 to only 47% in 2018 (Ministry of Children & Youth Services. Gearing Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario Middle Years Children Thrive. Toronto: Government of Ontario, 2017. & People for Education. Reading for Joy. Toronto: People for Education, 2011).

School Libraries and the 2020-21 School Year

The Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) is aware of the significant impact of COVID-19 on Ontario’s educators, including school library staff across Ontario. OLA and OSLA have been actively engaging decision-makers to advocacy for the protection of school libraries and school library staffing during this challenging school year. We’ve compiled her our more recent school library advocacy materials and letters:

Aligned organizations continue to also support strong school libraries, with these recent examples of advocacy for Ontario School Libraries.

OSLA's Recommendations for School Library Funding

OLA and OSLA participate in provincial consultations on school libraries. You can see our most recent recommendations surrounding school library funding here:

  • OLA Advocacy Toolkit – The resources of this toolkit were created to help OLA members from all library sectors, to advocate for their libraries and to broaden the community of library advocates in Ontario. This toolkit aims to provide guidance as to how to advocate effectively and link to additional resources for members who wish to learn more.
  • Watch: School Library Advocacy Webinar (2019) – Hosted Diana Masliszewski and Richard Reid, in this one-hour session you will learn about OLA’s Advocacy Toolkit and how you can use the resources and templates to effectively advocate for your school library. Presenters will provide some concrete examples from their advocacy experiences in diverse school library settings.
  • Slides – 100 Ideas for Internal Support and Engagement for Your School Library
  • Watch: A Dozen Ways to be Indispensable in Your District – A 5 minute video prepared by Melissa Jensen

Learn more