If, as advocates say, the library should be the "living room" of a school, the place where kids can ask questions, find what they're passionate about and expand their world view, Portland Public Schools leaders acknowledge they're overdue for a change.
Some kids barely know how to find books and check them out. Others rarely visit the library without teacher prompts. Students have limited access and little familiarity.
Superintendent Carole Smith wants to fix that. In her budget released last week, Smith is requiring all traditional schools, about 75, to staff their libraries for at least 20 hours a week.
Portland was rated tenth in CCSU's America's Most Literate Cities in 2008.