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.
The school librarian plays an instrumental role in preparing students to be twenty-first century learners: problem solvers, critical thinkers, and effective users of information.
By acting as a teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator, the school librarian can weave together content curriculum and information literacy skills in ways that benefit teachers and students
… [R]esearch proves that successful, well-staffed school library programs with a focus on collaboration do have a positive impact on student learning.
Other best practices include flexible scheduling and flexible access that allows for the maximum amount of authentic learning to take place in the media center, a wide and varied collection that supports the curriculum and promotes reading, and the presence of a certified school librarian who takes on leadership roles within the school to share expertise and help students flourish.
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.
… [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.
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.
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.
School library media specialists in “A” elementary schools Are more likely to work with individuals visiting the media center than with groups. Spend more time planning for lessons taught independently of teachers. Spend more time working collaboratively and teaching with teachers. Spend more time involved in reading incentive activities and programs.