In 2007, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) initiated an annual survey of school libraries. The development of this longitudinal survey project was mandated by the AASL Board and advocated by the division’s Research & Statistics Committee and Independent Schools Section. The survey was promoted via a wide variety of venues, including: AASL events at ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences, AASL e-mail lists, AASL chapters and affiliates, and member/participant postings (blogs, listservs, etc.).
The annual report summarizes the overall results, the results by school level and enrollment, and more detailed results, when statistically significant relationships between the results and selected other factors are found. These other factors include: region, a school's poverty status, locale (metropolitan versus non-metropolitan), and whether a school is public or private. While the data on the latter characteristic was based on respondents' reports, data on poverty status and locale were obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics, which is also the source of the public school universe file for this project.
Respondents to the AASL survey were self-selected. For this reason, it is not possible to generate national totals. Instead, for each statistic, this report presents three percentiles: the 50th, the 75th, and the 95th. The purpose of reporting these three figures is to describe the better half of responding school libraries. The 50th percentile, or median, is the figure that divides the respondents in half—half reported this figure or above, half a lower figure. The 75th percentile is the figure below which three-quarters of the respondents fall and one-quarter above. Finally, the 95th percentile is the figure at or above which only five percent of the respondents fall.
School libraries that participated in the School Libraries Count! survey can access their personalized reports to compare data to schools of similar level and size in your state and nationally. As an added bonus to AASL members you can access a downloadable PDF with your personalized information in a report format suitable for presentations and reports. To access the reports you will need your NCES number as your user name and the password you created. You can contact AASL to retrieve this information. Please allow 2-3 business days for a response.
If you cannot locate your NCES number you can search on NCES’s website. Enter your state and city then select your school from the provided list. A box will appear and the NCES School ID is listed in the upper right hand side.