Kindergarten-Middle School Talking Point #19

A strong LM program is one:

Library media specialists (LMSs) exert a complex web of effects on the LM programs. Findings about these effects are summed up in the following description of a strong LM program. A strong LM program is one that is adequately staffed, stocked, and funded. Minimally, this means one full-time library media specialist (LMS) and one full-time aide. The relationship, however, is incremental; as the staffing, collections and funding of LM programs grow, reading scores rise. whose staff are actively involved leaders in their school’s teaching and learning enterprise. A successful LMS is one who has the ear and support of the principal, serves with other teachers on the school’s standards and curriculum committees, and holds regular meetings of the LM staff. Students succeed where the LMS participates with classroom teachers and administrators in making management decisions that encourage higher levels of achievement by every student whose staff have collegial, collaborative relationships with classroom teachers. A successful LMS is one who works with a classroom teacher to identify materials that best support and enrich an instructional unit, is a teacher of essential information literacy skills to students, and, indeed, is a provider of in-service training opportunities to classroom teachers. Students succeed where the LMS is a consultant to, a colleague with, and a teacher of other teachers. that embraces networked information technology. The library media center of today is no longer a destination; it is a point of departure for accessing the information resources that are the essential raw material of teaching and learning. Computers in classrooms, labs and other school locations provide networked access to information resource—the library catalog, electronic full text, licensed databases, locally mounted databases, and the Internet. Students succeed where the LM program is not a place to go, apart from other sites of learning in the school, but rather an integral part of the educational enterprise that reaches out to students and teachers where they are.

Effective school libraries are much more than books

Effective school libraries are much more than books. They are learning hubs, each with a full range of print and electronic resources that support student achievement.

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.

Highly effective school libraries have a common set of characteristics

It is clear from the findings that there are some highly effective school libraries in Delaware—school libraries that are strongly integrated into the learning fabric of the school and which contribute to student learning outcomes. These school libraries have a common set of characteristics: a state-certified, full time, library media specialist in the building the availability of para-professional staff who undertake routine administrative tasks and free the library media specialist to undertake instructional initiatives and reading literacy initiatives a library program that is based on flexible scheduling so that library media specialists and classroom teachers can engage in collaborative planning and delivery of information literacy instruction an active instructional program of information literacy integrated into curriculum content, and targeted towards learning curriculum content and skills a school library that meets resource recommendations of 15-20 books per child the provision of professional development on information literacy and technology literacies to the teaching faculty a budget allocation of $12-$15 per student per year to ensure currency and vitality of the information base a strong networked information technology infrastructure that facilitates access to and use of information resources in an and out of school

In addition to being an instructional leader, the LMS also serves as the technology integration leader

In addition to being an instructional leader, the LMS of the five schools also serves as the technology integration leader… Being technologically proficient and knowledgeable about current and new technologies, the LMS is the motivating force behind the integration of technology into the curriculum. She facilitates integration by identifying electronic resources and tools for use with different curricular units.

In Florida’s elementary schools, FCAT scores are higher where

In Florida’s elementary schools, FCAT [Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test] scores are higher where:There is a certified, university-trained library media specialist.The total number of paid staff is higher and there are more hours per week of staffing.Circulation is higher.Schools have access to the library media center catalog through the school’s computer network.There are more books and videos.There are more computers in the library media center and those computers provide Internet access.There are more non-print materials purchased from the school budget.

Successful schools have more library resources

The successful schools in the present sample had more print volumes, more magazine subscriptions, more electronic subscriptions, more video materials, more reference titles on CD-ROM, and more student software packages available for student use. In the area of technology, the successful schools had more than twice the number of computers in their libraries; 14 compared to 5.27. Among the successful schools, more than twice as many computers as opposed to the unsuccessful schools were Internet connected or connected to a printer. The implication is that in successful schools students have greater access to electronic research tools in their school library than students in unsuccessful schools.

In the middle schools, FCAT scores are higher where:

In the middle schools, FCAT scores are higher where: There are more certified, university-trained school library media specialists and the library media center is staffed more hours per week. More materials are circulated. There are more videos in the collection and more reference materials on CD-ROM. More computers in the library media center provide access to the Internet.

Librarians impact technology use

Principals often perceive their librarian as the technology leader in the school. Librarians have an impact on both teachers’ and students’ technology use

Library Networking correlated with student academic achievement

Library networking (human and electronic) accounted for 8.2 percent of the variance in principles correlated with student academic achievement. The individual principles included: LMS meetings and library networking.

Library programs positively influence students’ research-skills

Librarians and library programs appear to positively influence students’ research-skills development and motivation for research and inquiry, particularly in the use of information technologies such as databases and the Web.

School libraries boost students' confidence as information seekers

Ninety percent of the students recognized that the school library had helped to boost their confidence as proficient information seekers and users, enabling them to work independently; 91.8% of the students appreciated the school library’s help regarding working out the most important information, and sorting and analyzing information.

Higher reading scores for elementary schools whose school libraries:

Fourth grade reading scores tend to be higher for Michigan elementary schools whose school libraries report:higher numbers and weekly hours of total library staff and librarians in particular;being open more hours per week;library staff spending more time on motivating readers, developing collections, meeting with other librarians, teaching information literacy skills, and planning with teachers;larger collections of print volumes and video materials and, to a lesser extent, audio materials and software packages;more availability of computers—both in the library and throughout the school—that provide links to Access Michigan, library catalogs and licensed databases, and the Internet and the World Wide Web;more group visits, more individual and group visits for information literacy instruction, and higher circulation per week; andspending more on library operations.

School librarians provide students with information technology instruction

School librarians in New Jersey clearly take a strong instructional role in the providing students with the intellectual and technical scaffolds to engage with information technology in efficient and productive ways. Teaching search strategies, both in relation to the internet and specialized databases, library catalogs and directories, is given the most widespread emphasis. It is particularly encouraging to see the early adoption and integration of a range of web 2.0 technologies, tools and techniques to support curriculum content standards. This is highly commendable.

Libraries in high-performing schools spent more money on electronic access

The school libraries in the high-performing schools spent over two and a half times as much money per 100 students on electronic access to information (e.g., online database searching, Internet access) than did those in the low-performing schools.

School Library Information Programs Affect Reading Scores

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) reading scores increase in the following characteristics of school library information programs: staffing, information technology, and integration of information literacy into the curriculum.

High performing schools have more computers with library catalogue and internet access

Schools with a greater number of library and school computers with catalogue access, and schools with a greater number of library computers with Internet access were more likely to be higher achieving schools. Libraries at high performing schools had 52% more computers with Internet access and nearly twice as many computers with library catalogue access. Even more profound, high performing schools offered nearly three time as many computer with school-wide library catalogue access than low performing schools.

Schools with larger library collections averaged higher scores

Elementary schools with larger library collections in [periodical and video collections] averaged 67 to 73 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced and 9 to 11 percent scoring unsatisfactory. Schools with smaller library collections averaged 61 to 67 percent scoring proficient or advanced and 12 to 14 percent unsatisfactory.

Schools with More Library Computers Average Higher Scores

At every grade level, schools with more library and library-connected computers—particularly, in the latter case, Internet computers relative to the school’s enrollment—average higher test scores. The presence of more library computers is associated with percentage increases of:8 percent for fifth-and-eighth grade ISAT reading performancealmost 11 percent for eighth-grade ISAT writing performancejust over 5 percent for eleventh-grade ACT scores.

Seventh grade reading scores rise with school library variables

For Michigan middle schools, seventh grade reading test scores usually rise as school libraries report:high numbers and weekly hours of librarian and total library staff;offering more weekly hours for flexible access/scheduling;librarians spending more time planning and teaching cooperatively with classroom teachers, and providing in-service training to teachers;larger collections of print volumes and video materials;access to more library and school computers that connect to Access Michigan, library catalogs and licensed databases, and the Internet and the World Wide Web;more frequent individual and group visits to the library; andspending more on library operations.

School library computers help with school work

84.9% of the students indicated that school library computers help them do their school work better… Two key features stand out in the students’ comments. First, students see a clear relationship between being able to access information through information technology, and achievement, in research assignments and projects. Second, the instructional intervention of the school librarian in developing students as effective users of information technology to search for information, and the development of students as discerning evaluators of web information plays a role in achieving good grades.

Library variables affects test scores at all educational levels

TAAS [Texas Assessment of Academic Skills] performance was associated with different library factors at each educational level. Library variables found to be important were: Elementary School [K/MS]:Library volumes purchased in 1999-00 per 100 studentsLibrary operational expenditures per studentLibrary computers connected to a modem per 100 studentsLibrary software packages per 100 studentsMiddle/Junior High [K/MS]:Identifying materials fo instructional units developed by teachersProviding information skills instruction to individuals or groupsHigh School [T]:Library staff per 100 studentsLibrary staff hours per 100 studentsLibrary hours of operation per 100 studentsVolumes per studentsCurrent subscriptions to magazines and newspapers per 100 studentsPlanning instructional units with teachersProviding staff development to teachers

Technology usage correlates with student achievement

Technology was a component of School Library Media Center Services… [T]his component was composed of six variables concerning technology availability and usage. This analysis shows that the component of Technology was significantly correlated with student achievement, represented by the Overall Weighted Average Map Index, when other variables were not present.

Networked computers linked to higher test scores

Where networked computers link school libraries with classrooms, labs, and other instructional sites, student earn higher PSSA reading test scores. These higher scores are particularly linked to the numbers of computers enabling teachers and students to utilize:the ACCESS PENNSYLVANIA database;licensed databases; andInternet/World Wide Web.

Library media specialists have an important role to play with technology

Library media specialists have an important role to play regarding the use of technology to support teaching and learning in their schools. Seventy-four percent of respondents provide guidance to students in the use of digital resources at least once a week.