Effective School Libraries Support Self-Motivated Literacy Practices

For Immediate Release
Mon, 08/10/2020


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO – New research published in the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research (SLR), analyzes the use of school libraries by students who receive free school meals. SLR promotes and publishes high-quality original research concerning the management, implementation, and evaluation of school libraries. Articles can be accessed for free at www.ala.org/aasl/slr.

The goal of the research team consisting of Clare Wood, Georgina Rudkin, and Emma Vardy, from Nottingham Trent University, and Christina Clark and Anne Taravainen-Goff, from the National Literacy Trust, was to understand the extent of use of school library spaces by students receiving free school meals. Their findings are detailed in their article “Exploring the Literacy-Related Behaviors and Feelings of Pupils Eligible for Free School Meals in Relation to Their Use of and Access to School Libraries.”

The team wished to fill the data gap on how the use of the school library space related to students’ reading behaviors. To do this, the team analyzed data from 6,264 children and young adults in the United Kingdom entitled to free school meals who completed the 2019 National Literacy Trust Annual Literacy Survey. Findings indicated effective school libraries can be a significant resource in supporting engagement with self-motivated literacy practices in children from low-income families. Enjoyment of both reading and writing, confidence in their own abilities, and the frequency with which they read or wrote for pleasure outside of school was significantly higher for those students eligible for free school meals who used their school libraries.

School Library Research (ISSN: 2165-1019) is the successor to School Library Media Research (ISSN: 1523-4320) and School Library Media Quarterly Online. The journal is peer-reviewed, indexed by H. W. Wilson's Library Literature and by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology and continues to welcome manuscripts that focus on high-quality original research concerning the management, implementation and evaluation of school libraries.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.