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PARSL: Philadelphia Alliance for Restoring School Librarians: Home

A grassroots advocacy organization to restore certified school librarians in the School District of Philadelphia

Mission and Vision

VISION:  All Philadelphia students are empowered by their school librarians and library programs to develop the self-confidence, skills, and attitudes to:

  • develop a habit of reading to learn and reading for enjoyment;
  • access, interpret, and critically analyze information they read, hear, and view;
  • pursue, build, and share ideas and knowledge; and 
    develop an understanding of and respect for diverse people and perspectives.

MISSION OF PARSL:  The Philadelphia Alliance to Restore School Librarians seeks to partner with the School District of Philadelphia to co-create a strategic growth plan for the development of effective library programs with certified teacher librarians in all schools across the district.  Effective library programs in each school will be characterized by:

  • the leadership, instruction, and management of a certified school librarian;
  • a safe, inclusive, inviting, and dedicated space;
  • a diverse and up-to-date collection designed to inspire the joy of reading with children and allow them to see themselves reflected in texts while also opening up other worlds to them;
  • technologies to access and create information; and
  • a planned curriculum of information, inquiry, and media instruction that empowers students with the skills and attitudes for their personal, social, and academic growth.


Pa. School Librarians Association Proposal


Other Urban School Library Programs

Related Articles

SDP Staffing Comparison Over Time

Line chart above and tables below created using the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the interactive data tools of the SLIDE project (The School Librarian Investigation: Decline or Evolution?) funded by the Institute for Museums and Library Services. NCES data is annually reported by every school district in the U.S.


Librarian FTEs (2020-21)

Librarian FTEs (2019-20)

Librarian FTEs (2018-19)

Librarian FTEs (2017-18)

Librarian FTEs (2016-17)

Librarian FTEs (2015-16)








School District of Philadelphia Compared to San Diego School District

NOTE: Peer district (San Diego) selected based on similar number of students, large city locale, and per pupil expenditures. Data based on 2020-21 NCES data provided by each district.

Actual # FTE Librns

Librn FTE per Building

Students per 1 FTE Librn







San Diego





PA Average



SDP Librarian Staffing


















SOURCE: The School Librarian Investigation--Decline or Evolution? (SLIDE) Data Tools. Based on data collected from school districts by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).