“Best Sellers” Campaign

The “Best Sellers” Campaign enlists high-profile spokespersons to communicate the important message that strong school libraries increase student success, regardless of the socio-economic status of a school’s community.  It is a grassroots strategy, which means individual members identify and invite someone to become a “Best Seller” . Please first review our tutorial at http://bestsellers4schoollibraries.csla.net/

Message: Strong school libraries build strong students, regardless of the socio-economic status of a school’s community.

Background: The public school library has become the endangered species of the California Education system. The demise of California’s school libraries is occurring at a time when technological developments and research on academic achievement have underscored their critical importance.

Goals:

1. Short-Term: Increase California taxpayer awareness of and support for Public School Libraries.
2. Long Term: Strengthen California’s school libraries and promote implementation of the Model School Library Standards. Note: California is ranked 50th in LMT/pupil ratio in the United States.

Mission: To recruit a dedicated group of state and local spokespersons to advocate for strong school libraries as a way to increase student achievement.  This ties in closely with the public awareness campaign, California Campaign for Strong School Libraries; Invite your “Best Sellers” to learn about and promote the public awareness Campaign.

Key Resources

Research http://librarycampaign.csla.net/2010/11/research.html
California’s  School Libraries Make a Difference
California public schools with strong school library programs outperform those without such programs on the state’s STAR tests. This is true regardless of the school community’s parent education and poverty levels, ethnicity, and percentage of English language learners. Read more… Download Handout (by Doug Achterman)

Parents Guide for Promoting Equity, Opportunity, and Achievement
How Much of a Difference Do School Libraries Make?
In California’s high schools, which have the overwhelming majority of fully-staffed school libraries, the school library program accounts for between 19-21% of the variance in STAR test scores.

On the U.S. History STAR test, the library program is a better predictor of scores than parent education, poverty, ethnicity, percentage of English language learners, teacher salaries, and teacher experience. Download flyer

For more information read more


FAQ

Q. What is the California School Library Association (CSLA) “Best Sellers” Campaign?

A. The California School Library Association’s “Best Sellers” Campaign for Strong School Libraries is a grassroots campaign for members to reach out to local high-profile spokespersons to communicate the important message that strong school libraries increase student success, regardless of the socio-economic status of a school’s community. The Campaign has added a specific public awareness advertising campaign in 2011, the California Campaign for Strong School Libraries.

Q. Why did CSLA start the “Best Sellers” Campaign?

A. The public school library has become the endangered species of the California education system. The demise of California’s school libraries is occurring at a time when technological developments and research on academic achievement have underscored their critical importance.

Q. The key message is “Strong libraries build strong students, regardless of a community’s socio-economic status.” What is a strong school library?

A. Minimum standards are outlined in the Model School Library Standards.  Essentially, a strong or robust school library has:

  1. A full-time, certificated teacher librarian and a full-time paraprofessional working as a team. This allows the  teacher librarian to collaborate with teachers in co-designing instruction which incorporates information literacy into the curriculum.
  2. Lots of books — carefully selected quality books, which reflect the school curriculum and meets the recreational reading needs of the students.
  3. A program which provides instruction and activities for students using the research process to find information they need. This is very important, because research is a process, not an end product. It is the thinking process which the students benefit from, not the ultimate “find.” The “find” will generally be forgotten, but the process will remain with them forever.
  4. Computers networked to the community and the Internet; e-databases related to the school curriculum.
  5. Its doors open during school hours, if not extended before and after school hours.

Q. What is the goal of the CSLA “Best Sellers” Campaign?

A. The campaign has two goals:

  1. Short-term: To increase California taxpayer awareness of and promotion of the Model School Library Standards; Members develop local advocates, such as PTA Presidents, School Board members, Legislators, and other high-profile individuals to advocate locally.
  2. Long-term: To strengthen California’s school libraries and school library programs. The second goal is to urge upgrading of California school libraries so all can have robust programs and full-time, certificated librarians because research shows healthy school library programs are key to student academic achievement/success regardless of a school community’s socio-economic status.

Q. Who is on CSLA’s “Best Sellers” List?

A. High-profile, non-librarian spokespersons are CSLA Best Sellers. “Best Sellers” are not just high-profile, high-profile people, they must also be well known and respected for their care and concern for children.  CSLA no longer maintains a complete list, as members generally keep their own contacts — and these school/parent contacts often change from year to year.

Q. What do “Best Sellers” do?

A. CSLA  members ask “Best Sellers” to learn about and integrate the issues of school libraries into their messages, advocate for schools to meet or exceed the Model School Library Standards.  For example, members can provide their school PTA with specifically how the standards address middle school library curriculum, staffing, and resources; recommend their assistance in developing a 3-5 year plan on rebuilding the library program and meeting or exceeding minimum standards.

Q. Finally, who came up with such a great campaign name, “Best Sellers”?

A. Teacher Librarian “infoSherpa” Richard Moore responded to a contest on California’s School Library Listserv, CALIBK12. He offered a dozen or more ideas, but “Best Sellers” caught on immediately.