Schools in urban districts like Denver Public Schools often struggle to fund library programs, which only exacerbates already existing equity gaps for students of color. And while it is painfully true that tight school budgets often result in unstaffed or understaffed school libraries, I am hopeful. I sense a revolution in how we serve our students — a revolution in how we walk the talk of equity.

Prioritizing equitable library access for students

As school libraries evolve and best practices shift accordingly, there is one constant to solve for: equity. All students deserve access to a school library. Libraries support students’ literacy and lifelong learning, help develop their empathy, build their critical thinking skills, and empower them with skills to navigate their world.

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In other words, school libraries provide the tools students will need to solve the complex world problems of their futures.

About the Author:

Suzi Tonini is the Collection Development Supervisor for Denver Public Schools supporting library programs around the city. Suzi received her M.Ed. in K-12 English as a Second Language, Early Childhood Education and Special Education from George Mason University and a M.A. in Information and Learning Technologies from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a librarian with twenty years of experience serving ECE-12 students in Virginia and Colorado. Suzi is passionate about ensuring library collections reflect the unique identities and lived experiences of every student and supporting equitable access to high quality library programs.