New research compares classroom versus school library teaching experience

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/22/2021


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – New research published in the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research (SLR), examines the relationship between years of traditional classroom teaching experience and teaching in school library instructional environments. Articles can be accessed for free at

A longstanding shortage of certified school librarians in Maryland inspired Towson University researchers David E. Robinson and Scot W. McNary to examine the preparation of school librarians with varying levels of prior teaching experience. Their primary research question guiding the study was: in the role of teacher, what is the relationship between years of teaching experience and school librarian candidates’ effectiveness in planning, implementing, and reflecting on school library-based instruction?

In “School Library Instruction: Does Teaching Experience Matter?” Robinson and McNary detail how their study’s results reinforced Jennifer King Rice’s 2010 impact of teacher experience study, which found “the simple assumption that more is better requires greater nuance; experience effects are complex and depend on a number of factors.” In fact, they find that there may be greater nuance in the school library teaching environment than in the traditional classroom.

School Library Research (ISSN: 2165-1019) is the successor to School Library Media Research (ISSN: 1523-4320) and School Library Media Quarterly Online. The journal is peer-reviewed and indexed by H. W. Wilson's Library Literature and by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology. It welcomes manuscripts that focus on high-quality original research concerning the management, implementation, and evaluation of school libraries.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.