ERIC Identifier: ED345753
Publication Date: 1992-06-00
Author: Brennan, Mary Alice
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Information Resources Syracuse NY.
Libraries for the National Education Goals. ERIC Digest.
This digest is based on Libraries for the National Education Goals, by
Barbara K. Stripling.
By the year 2000, it is envisioned that our nation will have accomplished the
six National Education Goals adopted in 1990 by the President and the governors
of the United States. Since libraries are the only educational system available
to everyone, regardless of age or affiliation, it is logical to turn to our
nation's libraries to help to achieve these goals.
To demonstrate the critical role libraries can and do play in support of the
national education initiatives, an extensive literature review and analysis was
undertaken (Stripling, 1992). This digest highlights the findings of that
GOAL ONE: BY THE YEAR 2000, ALL CHILDREN IN AMERICA WILL START SCHOOL READY TO LEARN.
Experts predict that fifty percent of a
child's intellectual development occurs before the age of four. If this is true,
then it is crucial that preschoolers receive high quality care. Both public and
school libraries provide activities, services, and materials to facilitate early
language acquisition and reading readiness in preschool children.
The Pittsburgh Public Library's Beginning with
Books project reached disadvantaged families in places around the community.
They began by distributing packets to preschoolers in health clinic waiting
rooms, and later expanded to social services centers, shelters, housing
developments, and day care centers.
The Foster Reading Center was set up by the Evanston (Illinois) Public
Library and community leaders to provide reading/learning centers in the
neighborhoods. Its Roving Reader Project sends readers to day care centers twice
a week to share stories and enthusiasm for reading.
GOAL TWO: BY THE YEAR 2000, THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE WILL INCREASE TO AT LEAST 90 PERCENT.
School and public libraries are joining together to offer special programs
for students who are most at risk of dropping out before graduation. In addition
to literacy programs, libraries are offering programs that address self-esteem
and ethnic pride, motivation, thinking and study skills, and development of
The Reuben McMillan Free Library Association
(Youngstown, Ohio) conducts programs on ethnic heritage for at-risk and minority
students. Programs have featured African-American writers, Hispanic crafts, and
other topics. Students continue to visit the library after attending special
The Rantoul (Illinois) Public Library's at-risk program offers volunteer
tutoring during students' study halls, educational seminars and workshops, field
trips to businesses, and pre-employment experiences at local businesses.
GOAL THREE: BY THE YEAR 2000, AMERICAN STUDENTS WILL LEAVE GRADES FOUR, EIGHT, AND TWELVE HAVING DEMONSTRATED COMPETENCY IN CHALLENGING SUBJECT MATTER INCLUDING ENGLISH, MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE, HISTORY, AND GEOGRAPHY; AND EVERY SCHOOL IN AMERICA WILL ENSURE THAT ALL STUDENTS LEARN TO USE THEIR MINDS WELL, SO THEY MAY BE PREPARED FOR RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP, FURTHER LEARNING, AND PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT IN OUR MODERN ECONOMY.
With the quantity of
information doubling every few years, students cannot be expected to memorize
all the facts about a given subject. Instead, students must develop their
ability to think and to learn independently. School libraries can be
instrumental in teaching students how to find and process information using
technology as a tool. By providing equitable access to information, libraries
can help students to make responsible decisions and to become productive
Research shows that students perform better on
tests of research skills and comprehension skills when they have access to a
good library media center and a professional library media specialist.
In Hinsdale, Illinois, school and public libraries jointly published a
student literary magazine. The program resulted in increased student
self-confidence, improved reading skills, more creative and better organized
thinking, and greater ability to express thoughts and feelings through writing.
GOAL FOUR: BY THE YEAR 2000, U.S. STUDENTS WILL BE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD IN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT.
Libraries play a
unique role in bridging the gaps between disciplines, and, more specifically, in
helping students apply science and mathematics concepts to other disciplines.
Science curricula can be enriched in library media centers by providing hands-on
displays and learning centers, electronic databases that contain the latest
scientific information, guest speakers and demonstrations, and displays of
student-produced science projects.
The Monroe County Public Library (Stroudsburg,
Pennsylvania), has a science awareness program for children. Volunteers
demonstrate natural and scientific phenomena at special presentations, and
resources in science and technology are distributed to teachers.
Students use the school library media center to access electronic bulletin
boards and databases available on national networks. NASA Spacelink, for
example, provides current information and teaching guides on topics about space.
GOAL FIVE: BY THE YEAR 2000, EVERY ADULT AMERICAN WILL BE LITERATE AND WILL POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO COMPETE IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY AND EXERCISE THE RIGHTS AND
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENSHIP.
It is estimated that there are 23
million illiterate and 35 million semi-literate adults in America. Many of these
people are removed from an established educational system, and for these people,
the library is the only educational institution available. Libraries are
responding by providing services and materials to help American citizens gain
literacy and become lifelong learners. Library literacy programs frequently
target such special audiences as young adults, disabled people,
institutionalized people, and people with limited English proficiency.
The Brooklyn Public Library operates five adult
learning centers that feature tutoring and tutor training; computer-assisted
learning; English as a Second Language classes; collections of high-interest,
low-vocabulary books; reference books for literacy professionals; and study
tables on citizenship, job-seeking, and other adult interests.
The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (CARL) online catalog system is
located in many libraries and is also accessible to learners at homes and
schools by modem. In addition to library holdings, the system gives access to
economic information, local databases, other computer networks, and electronic
GOAL SIX: BY THE YEAR 2000, EVERY SCHOOL IN AMERICA WILL BE FREE OF DRUGS AND VIOLENCE AND WILL OFFER A DISCIPLINED ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO LEARNING.
Before learning can take place,
students must feel intellectually, physically, and emotionally safe. Libraries
provide intellectual and emotional safety for children by offering information
and services that children can turn to when seeking answers to their concerns.
Information about drug abuse and social violence is accessible in school
libraries, and the library's safe environment allows students to work
independently, thereby bolstering students' self-esteem. In the same way, public
libraries provide community members with safe learning environments.
The Geauga West Branch of the Geauga County
Public Library (Chesterland, Ohio), has a latchkey program that provides youth
programming and help with school assignments while functioning as a safe social
Project LEAD (Librarians and Educators Against Drugs) of the Summit
(Illinois) Public Library promotes drug awareness among elementary students by
hosting a community awareness day, distributing information, and arranging
visits by anti-drug speakers to the schools.
INFORMATION 2000: LIBRARY AND INFORMATION
SERVICES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. Summary report of the 1991 White House Conference
on Library and Information Services. (1991). Washington, DC: White House
Conference on Library and Information Services. ED 341 399.
NATIONAL GOALS FOR EDUCATION. (1990). Washington, DC: Executive Office of the
President. ED 319 143.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES: PLACES WHERE LEARNING CAN HAPPEN. A REPORT ON SELECTED PROGRAMS SUPPORTING THE NATIONAL EDUCATION GOALS FUNDED UNDER THE LIBRARY SERVICES AND CONSTRUCTION ACT, TITLE I. (1992).
Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Office of
Library Programs. IR 054 034. ED number pending.
Stripling, Barbara K. (1992). LIBRARIES FOR THE NATIONAL EDUCATION GOALS.
Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Resources. IR 054 132. ED 345