Kindergarten-Middle School Talking Point #17

Elementary school achievment is distinguished by the time school library staff spend teaching

… [H]igher and lower scoring elementary schools are distinguished by the amount of time school library staff spend in teaching students and teachers how to access and use print and electronic information resources. At higher achieving schools library staff spend three days on such activities for every two by lower achieving schools… At higher achieving schools at all grade levels, library staff are involved in committees and provide in-service training to teachers. Library staff at lower achieving schools usually do not engage in these activities at all.

School library helps students' learning process

Delaware, 2005: 98.2% of students were helped in their learning process by the school library when they had access to a full-time librarian, information literacy instruction, flexible scheduling and networked ICT [Information and Communications Technology].

School library is for disadvantaged children a major source of exposure to books, magazines, and the newer media

The school library, when one exists, is for many disadvantaged children a major source of exposure to books, magazines, and the newer media—learning materials that stimulate their thinking, creativity, learning, reading, and enjoyment. Our survey data suggest that children from a lower socioeconomic stratum who have a school library obtain a higher mean MCAS score than do similar children from schools that do not have such a program.

Better-funded school library media programs help to close the achievement gap

Better-funded school library media programs help to close the achievement gap for poor and minority students and poor and crowded schools. There is a positive relationship between total library expenditures in high schools and both PSAE reading scores and ACT scores of eleventh-graders persists, despite community income, per pupil spending, the teacher-pupil ratio, and student’s race/ethnicity.

Elementary schools with full-time librarians had higher test score

At the elementary level, four out of five schools (over 80 percent) with full-time librarians had more students who earned proficient or above proficient test scores on the CAT5 [California Achievement Test/ 5th Ed.] tests for reading, language arts, and mathematics. At the secondary level, this trend is even more pronounced and more statistically significant. Nine out of ten schools (over 90 percent) with full-time librarians had more students who earned proficient or above proficient test scores.

Librarians positively correlate with reading scores with poverty as control variable

In this instance, both endorsed and non-endorsed librarians were positively correlated with advanced CSAP reading scores and negatively correlated with unsatisfactory scores. In other words, with poverty utilized as a control variable, both endorsed and non-endorsed librarians had positive and statistically significant correlations with reading scores. Notably, however, these relationships are stronger for endorsed librarians than non-endorsed ones. What did not change was the lack of relationship between non-endorsed library assistants working without a librarian and reading scores. Apparently, library assistants working without supervision do not have any impact on reading scores, either advanced or unsatisfactory.

Association of librarians with higher reading scores cannot be explained away by economic conditions

As in earlier state-level school library impact studies and the SLJ national study, the association of endorsed librarians with higher reading scores cannot be explained away by local economic conditions.

Research consistent: students perform better with an endorsed librarian

The research on school librarians and their association with students’ test scores is remarkably consistent in its findings: regardless of how rich or poor a community is, students tend to perform better on reading tests where, and when, their library programs are in the hands of endorsed librarians. Furthermore, at schools where library programs gain or maintain an endorsed librarian when school budgets get tight, students tend to excel. At schools where library programs lose or never had an endorsed librarian, students suffer as a result.