Advocacy, Innovation

Forge new ground.

Adult Ed. Libraries – Do they exist?

I am a counselor at a public adult skills center in East Los Angeles.  We cater to the academic needs of a local community with a 40% high school dropout rate of predominantly English Language learners in a lower middle class/working class neighborhood.  Approximately 30% are undocumented immigrants and have more than one barrier to access higher education.  These numbers tell a story, but it is not the whole story.

It would be fair to say that many of the students I work with experience a lot of social, emotional, academic and institutional barriers to educational success.  For this reason, I believe a school library would positively impact the lives of the students I work with.  In Los Angeles, this idea is unheard of.  My adult school is one of 11 major campuses in LA and not one serves students through a school library.  Do adult school libraries exist in other parts of the state and/or country?  Don’t public adult school students have the same rights to library materials and resources that other public school students do?  For example, the students of Los Angeles USD, have access to a personalized email account and a Google accounts provided by the district.  Through these accounts, students are given permission to utilize and access Google tools, as well as the district’s digital library of databases, managed by the district, and the catalog for their particular school site, managed by the library staff at that particular school site.  While my adult school does not own any printed materials at this time, do the students enrolled at my campus have the right to access the digital library?  If my school site provided an open computer lab for students could we provide students with local and remote access to the databases and other content managed by the district for student use?  If so, what would the practical next step be to gain access for my students?   



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