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LIBRARIES CAN PRY OPEN THE DOOR TO MORE SUPPORT BY CLOSING THE STATISTICS GAP BETWEEN PROGRAMMING INPUT AND OUTCOMES
Most adults who are lucky enough to function effectively in the Information Age tend to take that ability for granted. They fail to appreciate that their functionality is based on their having developed literacy skills at an early, formative age.
Unfortunately, millions of young people nationwide are hampered in developing their skills by a serious lack of educational support at school and at home, particularly in the crucial after-school hours. A complicated and changing mix of social, familial, economic, and political variables is tipping the odds against them. Those factors include the erosion of school library budgets, an increase in U.S. households where English is not the primary language, and the elimination of many after-school programs sponsored by schools even as there has been an upswing in the number of latchkey children.
No one player in the educational community can mitigate these complex social issues in an effective and meaningful way. Therefore, it has become incumbent upon institutions such as libraries to pitch in by taking on educational roles traditionally reserved for the K-12 setting, and to provide services outside their traditional realm of influence.
Some forward-thinking libraries now offer …