School Library Research opens volume 17 with three new studies

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/04/2014

Contact:

Jennifer Habley
Manager, Web Communications
American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
312-280-4383
jhabley@ala.org

CHICAGO – The newest volume of the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research, opens with studies on college readiness, information literacy during the high school to college transition and educational stakeholders’ perceptions of school library programs. The purpose of School Library Research is to promote and publish high quality original research concerning the management, implementation and evaluation of school library programs. Articles can be found on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/slr.

“Of the three newest research studies to be published in School Library Research, two address the transition from high school to college from two very different perspectives,” said Ruth V. Small, SLR co-editor. “One looks at how the instructions undergraduate faculty provide in student assignments convey learning expectations while the other studies how high school library skills instruction affects the ability of first year college students to complete their freshman research assignments. A third article used consensus-building activities to explore how to create external advocates who value and support school libraries.”

In “College Ready—What Can We Learn from First-Year College Assignments? An Examination of Assignments in Iowa Colleges and Universities,” Jean Donham examines the readiness of high school graduates to produce scholarly work that meets the expectations of college instructors. To do so, Donham conducted a qualitative analysis of college faculty assignment instructions. This analysis identified three main themes – information literacy, academic writing and learner dispositions – that have implications for educators working with high school students and first-year college students.

Jana Varlejs, Eileen Stec and Hannah Kwon examine school librarian and teacher working relationships in their article, “Factors Affecting Students’ Information Literacy as They Transition from High School to College.” The research team set out to determine why poor research skills were still being reported in first-year college students, despite the increased emphasis on improving information literacy skills in high school students. Their findings suggest that school librarians are seldom in a position to adequately collaborate with teachers and that their opportunities to help students achieve information literacy are limited.

To provide data for their article, “What Do Stakeholders Know about School Library Programs? Results of a Focus Group Evaluation,” the research team of Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis ran four focus groups throughout the state of Pennsylvania to identify what educational stakeholders expect from school library programs. During the focus groups, Everhart and Mardis engaged attendees with research on the impact of school library programs provided by the Pennsylvania School Library Project. Their findings indicate that reaching out to stakeholders in an organized and purposeful way - not in a crisis mode - garners substantial support for school libraries and school librarians.

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 library programs.

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.

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