(The Center Square) – Broadening student access to learning materials is the focus of a new investment in Delaware.
The state will inject $1 million into libraries throughout the state, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, said, that will give students more access to quality books through school libraries. The funding, which will be allocated to the Delaware Division of Libraries, is designed to link collections at libraries.
School libraries, according to the release, will be integrated with the Delaware Library Catalog, which connects more than 70 libraries in an effort to share resources and give library patrons greater access to books and other materials, regardless of which library they can be found.
“We know that a great school library can take students, their teachers, and an entire school to the next level when it comes to achievement and building community,” Longhurst, who secured the funding in this year’s budget bill, said in a release. “These resources will help unlock the potential of school libraries across the state and give school librarians the tools they need to do what they do best – spark curiosity and foster a love of learning in our students.”
According to the release, the funding will be used to widen a pilot program to connect libraries at Colonial School District into the Delaware Library Catalogue, a move Longhurst and Dr. Annie Norman, the state’s libraries, advocated for in the past.
“Rep. Longhurst’s leadership is instrumental in launching the first state initiative to address school libraries,” Dr. Norman said in a release. “Connecting the school libraries to the statewide Delaware Library Catalog achieves the ‘last mile’ in ensuring equity of access for all Delaware children, regardless of whether they are taken to a public library.”
The funding, according to the release, will also be used to train school libraries in practices to bring their collections up-to-date and use resources for transporting materials from one library to another.
According to the release, the state Library Catalog was launched in 2006 and went statewide in 2010, featuring all public libraries in the state, along with academic, special, and a handful of libraries.