Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

EdFacts -- School Libraries - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

School Libraries

The School and Library Improvement Block Grant

State funding for California school libraries began with passage of the California Public School Library Act of 1998, which brought the first ongoing allocation for planned, methodical development of school library collections across the state. The passage of Assembly Bill 825, Chapter 871, in 2005–06 moved state library funding into a new categorical block grant called the School and Library Improvement Block Grant.

In February 2009, the funding for this program became unrestricted or flexible in its use pursuant to SBX3 4. The bill authorizes LEAs to use funds from about 40 categorical programs “for any educational purpose” over a five-year period ending July 1, 2013. The statutory language establishing this transferability authority states that LEAs using the flexibility provision “shall be deemed to be in compliance with the program and funding requirements contained in statutory, regulatory, and provisional language.” (SBx3 4 Section 15). For additional information, please refer to the Action on 2008 and 2009 Budget Acts Web page.

The Importance of School Libraries

Substantial research indicates that a school library with appropriate staffing, adequate funding, and a rich collection of materials in various formats makes a positive impact on literacy as well as on overall academic achievement. Summaries of current research related to school libraries are available on the Library Research Web page and the American Library Association External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

The school library plays an important role in preparing students to live and learn in a world of information. Since 1988, the mission of school library media programs across the country has been to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information by taking the following steps:

At the heart of state funding for school libraries is acknowledgment of the critical need for more and better books for students to read. Studies show a positive relationship between library quality (school and public) and the amount read, as well as a relationship with reading competence. Better libraries mean more literacy development for younger readers as well as for high school students. The English–Language Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools calls for students to read extensively on their own (one-half million words annually by grade four; one million words annually by the end of middle school; and two million words annually by the end of grade twelve).

Statistical Snapshot of California School Libraries

The CDE Online School Library Survey collected information about school libraries in 2008–09. The following statistics are based on those data as well as data collected by the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS). When possible, national data are provided for comparison:

For Additional Information


Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Download Free Readers