More than three out of four elementary schools (over 75 percent) spending an average or above amounts of time on cooperative planning were schools with higher-achieving students.
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.
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 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).
Traditionally, emergent storybook reading and emergent writing in the home have been seen as the major site of literacy development (Sulzby, 1991), however because so many children are in preschool situations and because so many families have [Limited English Proficiency], more emphasis is being put on the need for literacy development at out-of-the-home settings.
In this context [Nespeca , 1995], library outreach programs gain essential importance serving those who do not have the opportunity to use the libraries on site. The fact that library outreach programs are important for the people living in public housing homes is clearly stated in Kinney’s (1996) Ph.D. thesis and this naturalistic inquiry reveals that story mobile service has significant positive effects on children’s emergent literacy skills in these homes.
Libraries are places that are free to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, language, or age. They are open to the public 7 days a week. Because low socio-economic and minority children are at risk in term of early literacy development and because books and literacy materials are less accessible to poor parents and their children, public libraries’ role as a free, public provider becomes even more vital to meeting this population’s demands for literacy materials and support.
Researchers have found that early literacy development has a strong correlation with children’s future academic achievement programs (Bowman, Donovan and Burns, 2001; Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000).
[W.H.] Teale (1995) points out that libraries and librarians, working cooperatively with family literacy programs or other community wide programs, may serve children in their homes or in libraries. Teale also suggests that libraries can employ special programs that promote children’s early literacy development or they may distribute materials to be used in homes or child care settings.
One individual who can be a model for providing meaningful interactions between young children and age-appropriate literature is a children’s librarian in a public library.