For immediate release | April 26, 2011

AASL funds two research teams focused on improving the school library profession

CHICAGO – The research teams of Mary K. Biagini and Rebecca Morris from Pennsylvania and Karla Krueger and Jean Donham from Iowa are the 2011 recipients of the American Association of School Librarian’s (AASL) Research Grant sponsored by Heinemann Raintree.

Biagini and Morris’s project, “Educating 21st-Century School Librarians to Help 21st-Century K-12 Students Learn,” will focus on the question “With unprecedented attention on accountability and reform for how K-12 students learn, how are ALA-accredited and NCATE/AASL-approved programs that educate school librarians keeping pace?” Working out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where Biagini is an associate professor and Morris is a teaching fellow, the team will investigate how school librarian preparation programs incorporate various national standards into their curriculum and identify best practices.

“Influence of School Library Resources on Student Learning in Rural Iowa Schools” is the title of Krueger and Donham’s project, which will study 30 elementary schools to document the influence of school library resources on student-learning outcomes to determine whether rural students are better served by more investment in school libraries. Krueger, an assistant professor, and Donham, an associate professor, at the University of Northern Iowa’s Curriculum and Instruction Department, will use school library surveys, student questionnaires, student projects and student responses to a scenario to determine if students in better resourced schools show evidence of higher information literacy skills.

"Our committee members were pleased to receive a variety of excellent AASL Research Grant proposals this year," said Karen Gavigan, award committee chair. "The winning projects were selected because of their potential for impacting the future of school librarianship and, ultimately, student learning. We look forward to learning the results of these innovative studies by Biagini and Morris, and Krueger and Donham."

The research teams and other AASL award recipients will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The luncheon will be held Monday, June 27, and Lauren Myracle, best-selling young adult author and national spokesperson for intellectual freedom, will headline. Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at

Established in 1993, AASL Research Grants are given to up to two school librarians, library educators or library information science or education professors to conduct innovative research aimed at measuring and evaluating the impact of school library programs on learning and education.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.


Jennifer Habley