More than 60 research studies throughout the nation, from Alaska to North Carolina to California, have shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without libraries.

The California Education Code (EC) reinforces the integral role of school libraries by requiring school districts to provide school library services and the State Board of Education to adopt standards, rules, and regulations for school libraries. The relevant EC sections are as follows:

Section 18100. The governing board of each school district shall provide school library services for the pupils and teachers of the district by establishing and maintaining school libraries or by contractual arrangements with another public agency.

Section 18101. The State Board of Education shall adopt standards, rules and regulations for school library services.

School libraries have evolved from simply providing print materials to offering rich selections of print, media, and digital resources; from teaching students how to search a card catalog to teaching students strategies for searching a variety of print, media, and digital resources; from teaching basic reading literacy to teaching information literacy (the ability to access, evaluate, use, and integrate information and ideas effectively).

California Model Library Standards, 2010


“Instructional materials” means all materials that are designed for use by pupils and their teachers as a learning resource and help pupils to acquire facts, skills, or opinions or to develop cognitive processes. Instructional materials may be printed or non-printed, and may include textbooks, technology-based materials, other educational materials, and tests. “State-adopted” instructional materials are those instructional resources which the State Board of Education (SBE) has formally “adopted” for use in the classroom. This action is required by the California State Constitution, Article 9 Section 7.5. There are no state adoptions for grades nine through twelve. Local governing boards have the authority and responsibility to adopt instructional materials for use in their high schools for grades nine through twelve.