Educational/Literacy Impact

Library program elements were significantly related to English Language Arts scores

At the elementary level, all other library program elements—hours open, collection size, budget, and total technology—were significantly, though weakly, related to English Language Arts CST scores in all bivariate and partial correlations.

Strong relationship between English Language Arts scores and library services

At the high school level… [t]he relationship between English Language Arts CST scores and library services was very similar in strength to that of U.S. History CST scores… The strongest bivariate correlations included total services… providing teachers with information about new resources and informally instructed students in the use of resources…

Significant positive correlations between English Language Arts CST scores and library staff services

At the fourth grade level, there were significant positive correlations between English Language Arts CST [California Standards Test] scores and fourteen library staff services. The two strongest associations were with informal instructing students in the use of resources and communication proactively with principal... At the eighth grade level, there were also fourteen services that were significantly related to English Language Arts CST scores, with the three strongest being communicating proactively with principal, offering a program of curriculum-integrated information literacy instruction, and total services…

Those elementary schools with higher test scores averaged 22 percent of librarian hours spent delivering instruction

Comparison of means analysis found that, among elementary schools, those with higher test scores averaged 22 percent of librarian hours spent delivering library/IL instruction, compared with only 13 percent of low-achievement schools.

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 take time to get to know their at-risk students

While working in collaborative partnerships with teachers, librarians may also take time to get to know their at-risk students by applying specific strategies that meet individual student needs. These strategies include:Developing library collections that include universally designed resources on a variety of levels and in a variety of formats to meet the unique needs and learning styles of at-risk learners (examples include bilingual titles, graphic novels, and interactive books)Developing library collections that include culturally relevant curriculum materials based on students’ backgrounds, languages, experiences, and interestsProviding opportunities for students to become engaged and feel successful in their reading (examples include book clubs, reader’s theater, poetry slams, and Teen Read Week)Educating themselves about at-risk students and providing information literacy instruction and library services that can be customized to their learning needsMaking the library a welcoming and supportive place for students to come before, during, and after school by including comfortable reading areas, posters, and creative signageInvolving the community by encouraging active participation from parents and community leaders through programming and/or tutoring services

School librarians collaborate with the educational team

Using their knowledge of the overall curriculum, technological expertise, and the ability to locate resources, school librarians are in a unique position to collaborate with the educational team to teach and evaluate at-risk students… Furthermore, caring and compassionate librarians can make school libraries places where at-risk students’ differences are acknowledged and respected.

Libraries can meet the needs of at-risk students

With the increasingly diverse educational needs of all students, it takes a team of professional to ensure student success. School librarians can be integral members of these professional teams. Through collaborative activities, libraries can meet the needs of at-risk students by working to implement strategies designed to help them experience academic success and prevent them from dropping out of school.

School librarians offer information literacy and technology instruction

School librarians offer information literacy and technology instruction that is crucial for 21st century learners, particularly marginalized at-risk learners who may not have access to resources and computers in their homes. Furthermore, school libraries can provide students equal access to print and digital resources to help close the gap between privileged and at-risk students (Martin, 2008).

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