A school library program that is adequately staffed, resourced, and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the community.
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.
… [H]aving an accessible high-quality collection correlates positively with reading comprehension and vocabulary, but it is not sufficient for overall academic achievement as measured by API [Academic Performance Index] scores. For that latter to occur, teaching and administrative principles also need to be implemented.
Elementary schools with better-funded libraries averaged 68 to 72 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced and 9 to 10 percent scoring unsatisfactorily. Schools with more poorly-funded libraries averaged 62 to 67 percent scoring proficient or advanced and 12 to 14 percent unsatisfactory.
Findings from a study among schools in British Columbia reinforce previous research suggesting that an easily accessed, well-funded, well-staffed, well-managed, well-stocked, integrated and heavily used school library correlated to higher student achievement.
The characteristics of 21st century education have been articulated by many and continue to evolve. However, in order to achieve within this developing context and beyond, it is accepted that students need: Reading literacy Information literacy Technological literacy Skills for personal knowledge building Oral literacy and numeracy Research evidence from the USA, Canada and Australia shows that where school libraries are resourced effectively and managed by a qualified librarian with educational expertise, all of the above are fostered and student academic achievement on standardized tests is higher than in schools where these conditions do not exist.
Collaborative planning and instruction accounted for 17.7 percent of the variance in principles correlated with student academic achievement. The individual principles included: collaborative planning (the single most important factor within that factor), modeling effective teaching, integration of information literacy, facilities for learning, program planning assessment of student academic achievement, administrative support, and communication about the program.
Compliance-related activities accounted for 14.6 percent of the variance in principles correlated with student academic achievement. The individual principles included: intellectual freedom (the single most important factor within that factor), followed by legal practices, curriculum-supportive collection, and program assessment.
Higher achieving schools often spend twice as much—or more—on their school library programs as lower achieving schools.
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 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.
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.
When LM predictors are maximized (e.g., staffing, expenditures, and information resources and technology), CSAP [Colorado Student Assessment Program] reading scores tend to run 18 percent higher in fourth grade and 10 to 15 percent higher in seventh.
… [R]esearch proves that successful, well-staffed school library programs with a focus on collaboration do have a positive impact on student learning.
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.
Oregon reading test scores rise with increases in:total staff hours per 100 students (including both professional and support staff),print volumes per student,periodical subscriptions per 100 students, andlibrary media expenditures per student.
Between the elementary and middle school levels, there was a similar increase in the strength of the relationship between library spending and writing performance. Elementary schools that spend more on their libraries average almost 10 percent higher writing performance, and middle schools that invest more in their libraries average almost 13 percent higher writing levels.
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.
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.
Across grade levels, schools tended to perform better on the ISTEP+ [Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus] tests where there were better-staffed, better-stocked, and better-funded school library programs.
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.
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.
Students at schools with better funded LMCs [Library Media Centers] tend to achieve higher average test scores, whether their schools and communities are rich or poor and whether adults in the community are well or poorly educated.
The conclusion to be drawn is that, within the present sample, students in schools that invest more of their per-pupil expenditure in library-related resources tend to perform better on standardized tests at several grade levels.
[Keith Curry Lance’s] finding consistently report that students in schools with well-staffed, -stocked and -funded libraries score from 10% to 25% higher on standardised tests than students in schools with poorly resourced libraries. Furthermore, the more hours that the school library is open, the higher the achievement levels of the students.
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
The library media programs in the 25 top scoring high schools [based on tenth grade performance on standardized reading tests] had … 14.9 percent more operating dollars per student [than the 25 lowest scoring schools] ($29.19 vs. $25.40). Students in high school library media programs with larger operating budgets scored [almost eight percent] better on ACT Reading and [more than 18 percent better on ACT] English than students in high schools with library media programs with smaller budgets. [T]he library media programs in the top [25 elementary] schools [based on fourth grade performance on standardized reading tests] had … 7.7 percent more library media program dollars per student [than the 25 lowest scoring schools] ($27.80 vs. $25.80).The library media programs in the 25 top middle/junior high schools [based on eighth grade performance on standardized reading tests] … had … 19.3 percent more operating dollars per student [than the 25 lowest scoring schools] ($24.76 vs. $20.76).
There is a statistically significant relationship between higher reading scores and larger school media center budgets. Students taking the reading tests in grades 5, 7, 8, and 10 scored between 3 and 6 points higher on those tests in schools with higher media center expenditures.