Guest Blogger

The Library’s Role in Equitable College Prep #PLA2022

Not every child who wants to go to college has the monetary resources to help pay for college prep classes and tutors. But the library can step in and help with phenomenal free resources. Aryssa Damron of the DCPL discussed how the library can help high school students find the tools they need to get into college.

The most important thing we can do is to update our own knowledge. Things have recently changed! Do you know the top scores for the big tests? The top SAT score is now 1600, and the top ACT score is 36. Take a look through the Common App and the Common Black App and familiarize yourself with the requirements and the schools that each application represents.

Evaluating your collection is crucial. Nothing in the physical collection should be older than two years. Your test prep books should be located in a highly visible area that receives a lot of traffic from teens. Databases should include test prep materials as well as materials that explain the college admissions process.

A resource that we need to familiarize ourselves with is Questbridge. Questbridge is a scholarship website that matches students to partner institutions. When a student submits their application in the fall of their senior year they include which schools they would like to attend. Finalists in the program will receive a call in December letting them know their match. All students accepted into the program are guaranteed a four year full ride scholarship to their match.

Mock SAT tests can be offered in the month before the SAT’s. If you use the online database, not only do the students get the opportunity to test in an environment similar to the one that they will experience on the test day, they will also get feedback on the questions that they missed as soon as the test is completed.

Most importantly, see if you can partner with your high school counseling office or a local college partner to offer one off programs that will benefit all students. Resume workshops, FAFSA clinics, test prep, essay writing and living on a budget are all programs that every student can benefit from as they near the end of their high school career.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Bettina Wesloh (she/her) is a Librarian at the Owings Mills Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. As she prepared for the conference, Bettina looked forward to discussing how library services have evolved in the wake of the pandemic and effective strategies for bringing back into the doors of the library. She eagerly anticipated the children’s author breakfast and learning how to play the ukulele. Bettina and her little black cat Hermes share a passion for breakfast food.

#PLA2022 Conference Bloggers offered great overviews during the conference. Today we offer five more posts from the Public Library Association gathering in Portland last week. (This is post 3 of 5.) To see more posts, just search the ALSC Blog using the keyword #PLA2022.

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