CHICAGO — David Loertscher is the 2014 winner of the American Library Association's (ALA) Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant for the project entitled “The Impact of Co-Teaching on Learning When Classroom Teachers Team with Teacher Librarians: The Testing of an Unobtrusive Measurement Tool.”
The Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant focuses on a pressing national issue that is of importance to library service, and the award committee felt that this project – measuring the effect of co-teaching and teacher librarians on raising educational outcomes – fit the criteria well.
“Dr. Loertscher’s proposal focuses on one of the most important issues facing children, education and the profession of librarianship,” said jury Chair Mary Pagliero Popp, “tying school libraries to educational outcomes at a time when school libraries and librarians are being eliminated in almost every state throughout the U. S.. This research has the potential to demonstrate the real value of teacher librarians and teachers working together on curriculum activities to affect, positively, learning outcomes, and will provide impact data to librarians, educators and boards.
“This project builds on school library activities already occurring in most schools and is in an area where Dr. Loertscher is an acknowledged expert,” Popp continued. “He has decades of experience in working with school libraries. The simple change proposed would be easy to implement and lends itself to reviews of its effectiveness. The researcher’s opportunities to influence the national research agenda will ensure wide discussion of the outcomes of the project.”
The $3,000 grant supports innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library services to any specific group of people. The award was donated by Eric R. Baber, Newton, Kan., in honor of his father, who was library director at Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) for 27 years. Baber died in January 1991, leaving ALA an endowment to support the award in perpetuity.
Guidelines for the Baber Grant, including a list of previous winners, may be found on the ALA website.