AASL opens sixth year of “School Libraries Count!” longitudinal survey

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/24/2012

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CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has announced the launch of the sixth year of its longitudinal study. “School Libraries Count!” gathers basic data about the status of school library programs across the country. AASL will use this information to develop advocacy tools to support school library programs at the local, state and national levels. The survey may be accessed directly at www.aaslsurvey.org. The last day to complete the survey is March 15, 2012.

All K-12 schools - public and private - are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Past participants’ continued involvement is encouraged, since those responses are crucial to examining trends. The survey’s questions cover the library program’s hours, staff and selected staff activities, collection, technology, usage and expenditures.

"The success of evidence-based research on the positive impacts of school libraries depends on the data provided by school librarians," said Gail Dickinson, AASL research and statistics chair.   "The survey results provided in past year shows a solid foundation for longitudinal research for advocacy, for empirical studies, and for building support for school libraries at all levels.  The survey also provides an opportunity for librarians eager to provide statistics on how strong school library programs support the learning of all students."

Starting in 2008, AASL began adding supplemental questions to address a current issue within the school library field. In 2012, these additional questions focus on technology access and filtering.

“Many of our members are faced with a filtering of educational and social websites used by students and educators in their schools or school libraries,” said Carl Harvey, AASL president. “The inclusion of these questions will allow AASL to see how widespread the practice of filtering is and how many school librarians face the challenge of teaching 21st century skills without access to needed online resources.”

The survey will be conducted by KRC Research, an independent, third-party firm. More information about “School Libraries Count!” and its key findings from previous years is available at www.ala.org/aasl/slcsurvey.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.