From the Desk of the Superintendent: Celebrating School Library Month

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By Dr. Vincent Matthews

When I was a child, I used to go to the library and find a quiet corner where I could read and be transported to a different world. I could stay for hours. In fact, it was at the Park Street library that I first fell in love with magic.

April is School Library Month. In the San Francisco Unified School District, we have a lot to celebrate when it comes to our teacher librarians and we don’t just go by the book when it comes to libraries.

Did you know we have more school librarians in our SF public schools than nearly any other school district? Thanks to the support of San Francisco voters, funds from the Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) allow us to have teacher librarians at all SFUSD elementary, K-8, middle and high schools in our district.

This is unique for public schools in California. Before we had voter-approved enrichment funds, our schools were more like other districts. In 2004, the year before the enrichment fund began, only 18 percent of our schools had credentialed librarians.

At SFUSD, all of our school librarians are credentialed teachers who plan diverse learning experiences to inspire equitable, active student participation.

Our librarians create spaces for students to connect outside of class: clubs for tinkering, crafting, and of course, reading.

In the fall, SFUSD Libraries turned neighborhood streets into open-air reading rooms. These open-air reading rooms appeared in Chinatown, the Tenderloin, the Panhandle, and in the Mission on Phoenix Day.

Our SFUSD librarians work closely with the amazing SF Public Library professionals. All SFUSD students automatically receive a “scholar card” from the SF Public Library, and can ask their school librarian for help with reserving a book.

Please join me in celebrating the rich contributions of teacher librarians to our school communities!

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