School Libraries Count!

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AASL's National Longitudinal Survey
of School Library Programs

Background

In 2007, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) initiated an annual survey of school library programs. The development of this longitudinal survey project was mandated by the AASL Board and advocated by the division’s Research and Statistics Committee and Independent Schools Section. The survey was promoted via a wide variety of venues, including: AASL events at ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences, AASL e-mail lists, AASL chapters and affiliates, and member/participant postings (blogs, listservs, etc.)

The annual report summarizes the overall results, the results by school level and enrollment, and more detailed results, when statistically significant relationships between the results and selected other factors are found. These other factors include: region, a school's poverty status, locale (metropolitan versus non-metropolitan), and whether a school is public or private. While the data on the latter characteristic was based on respondents' reports, data on poverty status and locale were obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics, which is also the source of the public school universe file for this project. 

Respondents to the AASL survey were self-selected. For this reason, it is not possible to generate national totals.  Instead, for each statistic, this report presents three percentiles:  the 50th, the 75th, and the 95th. The purpose of reporting these three figures is to describe the better half of responding school libraries. The 50th percentile, or median, is the figure that divides the respondents in half—half reported this figure or above, half a lower figure. The 75th percentile is the figure below which three-quarters of the respondents fall and one-quarter above. Finally, the 95th percentile is the figure at or above which only five percent of the respondents fall.

To ask questions, make suggestions or comments, or volunteer to assist in promoting the 2012 survey, contact Allison Cline, AASL Deputy Director, acline@ala.org.