December 1, 2011
Public Education appropriations Subcommittee
Utah State Legislature
State Capitol Salt Lake City, UT 84114

On behalf of the UTAH Academic Library Consortium, representing the public and private, accredited, college and university libraries in the state of Utah, we are writing to express our strong endorsement for ongoing designated funding for school library books and electronic resources in Utah’s public school libraries.

These resources are purchased to supply new and developing readers with both fiction and informational books that entice young people to learn to read and become better readers. School library resources also are selected to support instruction, based on the state’s mandated curricula. In order to build quality collections, consistent funding must be ensured. Furthermore, there is much disparity among school districts concerning the amount of funds allocated for school library resources.

High quality public education is Utah’s most important investment. Without quality resources, tools for teaching and learning, student success is diminished. Regrettably, the students who are graduating and entering higher education are increasingly deficient in critical thinking, analytical, and information problem-solving skills that are essential for success in higher education.
These problems are documented by studies conducted at Weber State University, Utah State University, Southern Utah University, and the University of Utah. We can only assume that the students not pursuing programs in higher education are increasingly deficient in these skills that are essential to success in a a 21st Century economy.

We urge your support to ensure ongoing designated funding for quality resources in Utah’s school libraries for better readers and successful students. An investment in school libraries is an investment in quality education that benefits students throughout their academic careers.

Library Deans and Directors, Utah Academic Library Consortium

Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library, Salt Lake Community College Markosian Library, Southern Utah University Gerald R. Sherratt Library, Utah Valley University Library, Weber State University Stewart Library, University of Utah Marriott Library, Snow College Karen H. Huntsman Library, University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, Brigham Young University Howard Hunter Law Library, Westminster College Glovale Library, Utah State Library