There is perhaps no more heartbreaking demonstration of the importance of libraries than the work by statistician and sociologist Sean Reardon of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. After Reardon distilled the standardized test results of 200 million reading and math scores, one statistic stood out: the richest school districts are outperforming the poorest by almost four grades.
Over the past thirty years, this gap has widened by almost 40 percent. The takeaway is that It is important to invest in our children early, and deeply. Most libraries, including ours, stand as a bulwark against this trend, prioritizing early and equal opportunities for children. This was the impetus behind Imagination Library, which delivers books into homes and hands of children from birth to age five, free of charge, to anyone who signs up. Story times, reading programs, music, art and technology activities, all are vital library services, available for everyone. Outreach to low income communities, services and organizations ensures that everyone who needs these services can take advantage of them. The upcoming purchase of a bookmobile van, will extend that reach even more.
The Library Foundation plays an important role in the health of these programs. The Foundation secured funding for the van, initiated the Imagination Library, and raises the funds for it as well as a host of other cherished library programs. We hope you consider becoming more involved as a donor or volunteer. If you are already a donor or volunteer, our deepest thanks.