Principals often perceive their librarian as the technology leader in the school. Librarians have an impact on both teachers’ and students’ technology use
13-18 (high school)
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.
Librarians and library programs appear to positively influence students’ reading skills development and test scores.
The data show that a substantial number of school librarians in New Jersey actively provide a range of information technology-related professional development activities to faculty. This is commendable, and shows a clear commitment to whole school development in term of effective use of information technology. The highest levels of involvement are in high schools, with lowest levels of participation among elementary school librarians.
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.
Overall, the qualitative responses of the participants collectively show the contribution of school libraries to the development of the whole child. The school library is portrayed as an agency for intellectual development, for social and cultural growth of students as they grow up in a complex and diverse information world. According to the evidence provided by the school librarians, the school library works to meet core content standards, to develop a wide range of information handling competencies and to provide students with the intellectual and technical scaffolds they need to learn and be ethical and productive users and consumers of information. School librarians in New Jersey clearly do engage in a range of information literacy instruction initiatives. This instruction primarily centers on knowing about the school library, knowing about difference sources and formats, with sound levels related to understanding the different strategies in doing effective research, learning how to use the resources, evaluating information for quality, and learning to use information ethically.
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.
The current study found evidence that student achievement tended to increase as the amount of money spent on books and other print materials from the school budget increased.
Increases in eleventh grade reading scores are usually reported by Michigan high school libraries that have: higher numbers and weekly hours of librarian and total library staff; more total weekly hours of operation, and more weekly hours for flexible access/scheduling; librarian spending more time supporting school computer networks; larger collections of print volumes and video materials; and access to more 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; and more frequent individual visits to the library [#9, #10]; and more money for library operations [#13].
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.