AASL releases 2008 longitudinal study results

Contact: Melissa B. Jones

AASL Communications Specialist



For Immediate Release

October 7, 2008

– The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released the results
from its 2008 School Libraries Count! longitudinal study. This year's survey
received responses from 6,988 public and independent school library media

Launched in January, the 2008 survey gathered data in a
number of areas, including library staff, collections, technology, class visits
and budgets.

Highlights from the survey include surprising findings about
the usage of 2.0 tools in schools at all grade levels. Schools are using
collaborative tools, like wikis, to support and enhance classroom teaching.
Among the other highlights: 74.1% of respondents said they offer remote access
to the school library media program's online databases; schools ranking in the
95th percentile show an annual per student expenditure of $48.02 for
school library media programs; and, half of responding schools report at least
16 computers in the school library media center and at least another 112
elsewhere in the school.

"School libraries are a
constant in students' schooling experience and we need to have ongoing insight
into how they make a difference," said Marcia Mardis, AASL Research and
Statistics Committee Chair. Additionally, Mardis notes the Web 2.0 tool results
"highlight the digital divide we see in schools." The AASL
longitudinal study offers "unprecedented opportunities for school library media
specialists to demonstrate leadership in the school community, and AASL's new
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner is an excellent way this
leadership can be demonstrated through fresh approaches to the way the school
library is involved in student learning."

The survey will be conducted annually and will result in a
longitudinal series providing data on the health of the nation's school library
media programs. Findings will be used to advocate for school library media
programs at the local, state and national level. The third survey is scheduled
to open during the first quarter of 2009.

Ann Martin, AASL President, notes "leadership of school
library media program initiatives is dependent upon use of current research.
With the release of School Libraries
Count! The Second National Survey of School Library Media Programs 2008, additional
data relating to staffing, scheduling, collection development (print and electronic),
computer resources, expenditures and social networking puts power behind
planning and justifying library media program goals. The development of this
longitudinal survey project is part of the AASL Strategic Plan to provide
members with relevant ongoing national data that can be used for

To see the results of the survey, visit http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/schlibrariesandyou/slcsurvey.cfm.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American
Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library
media 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 media field.