CHICAGO — Researchers Ann Dutton Ewbank from Arizona and Daniella Smith from Texas are the 2012 recipients of the American Association of School Librarian’s (AASL) Research Grant sponsored by Capstone. Established in 1993, AASL Research Grants are given to up to two school librarians, library educators or library information science or education professors to conduct innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the impact of school library programs on learning and education.
Ewbank’s project, “The Role of Teacher Unions in School Library Advocacy: A Case Study of the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ Association and the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation,” will investigate the unique relationship between the two organizations and how they work together to advocate for strong school library programs in the Canadian province. To meet the project’s research goals, Ewbank, the assistant division director for graduate programs in Arizona State University’s teachers college, will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, to interview association and federation board members and also review their association governance documents. From this material, she will explore what impact the association’s combined advocacy efforts have made in the province.
“Ann Dutton Ewbank’s proposal is unique," said Ann Marie Pipkin, award committee chair. "She is looking through a different lens and researching from an original perspective the interactions needed to create strong school library programs. This research has the potential to serve as a model for future school library advocacy. A great deal of work was done beforehand to allow for the success of the project."
“An Examination of the Impact of Resiliency and School Organizational Structures on the Self-Perceived Leadership Behaviors of School Librarians,” Smith’s project, is designed to determine the impact of resiliency and school organizational structure on the leadership behaviors of school librarians. Smith, assistant professor in the department of library and information sciences at the University of North Texas, will design a survey to evaluate the impact of school library programs on student learning. Using the survey data collected, Smith will determine what relationships exist among school organization structure, resiliency, and leadership behaviors.
“The committee feels that Daniella Smith’s research will help evaluate how leadership, resiliency, and school structure impact the school librarian and in turn, how that school librarian impacts student learning and education,” said Pipkin. “The research is relevant to librarianship and its impact on student achievement in today's world. Both the detailed timeline and the applicant's experience and current job position make her qualified to see the research to completion.”
Ewbank, Smith and other AASL award winners will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The luncheon will be held Monday, June 25. Carmen Agra Deedy, best-selling author and ardent supporter of libraries, will attend the ceremony courtesy of Peachtree Publishing. Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at http://www.ala.org/aasl/annual.
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.