Libraries and Education
Libraries are a cornerstone of education. A survey commissioned by the Texas Library Association shows that people view their libraries as a good value for their tax dollars, and support more funding for public and school libraries. 99% of those surveyed believe school libraries are an essential part of education. 94% agree that school librarians are critical to student achievement. A 93% majority supports legislation that would require public schools to provide a school library and librarian that meet statewide standards.
Numerous research studies show that students in schools with school libraries earn better grades, and score higher on standardized tests when compared to their peers in schools without libraries. Furthermore, school libraries are no longer just a place for books, but centers of electronic information resources that – under the guidance of a school librarian – can enhance the student's skill and comfort level with technology, and nurture critical thinking.
- A study in 1999 revealed that students in Alaska’s secondary schools with full-time school librarians were almost twice as likely to score average or above on California Achievement Tests (CAT5) as those without school librarians.
- A 2000 study in Colorado showed that elementary school students with the most collaboration among classroom teacher and school librarians scored 21% higher on Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) reading scores than students with the least amount of teacher/school librarian collaboration.
- A 2002 study in Florida documented a 9% improvement in elementary school test scores where libraries were staffed for 60 programming hours per week compared to those staffed less
than 60 hours per week.
- A 2002 study in Massachusetts documented higher Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) scores at each grade level in schools with active school library programs.
- A 2007 study in Indiana showed improved test scores for elementary, middle and high school students when increased collaboration took place between classroom teachers and school librarians.