AASL “School Libraries Count!” longitudinal study now open

Contact: Stephanie Book

AASL Manager, Communication

(312) 280-4389



For Immediate Release

March 9, 2010

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) launched the fourth year of its longitudinal study on March 5. “School Libraries Count!” gathers basic data about the status of school library programs across the country. AASL will use this information to develop advocacy tools to support school library programs at the local, state and national levels. The survey may be accessed directly at
http://www.aaslsurvey.org. The last day to complete the survey is April 30.

All K-12 schools - public and private - are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Past participants' continued involvement is encouraged, since those responses are crucial to examining trends. The survey's questions cover the library program's hours, staff and selected staff activities, collection, technology, usage and expenditures.

“Participation from those who completed the survey last year is equally valuable this year,” said AASL President Cassandra Barnett. “Collecting current, accurate data is part of how we build the case for school libraries as we advocate for the needs and the value of school library programs and librarians at local, state and national levels.”

Approximately 5,824 people participated in the survey. Key findings from the 2009 survey indicate decreased expenditures, including a reduction in spending for information resources, compared to the previous year results; an increase in average staff hours spent in the school library center; and compared to the previous year’s data, investment in networked computers with library access and school libraries with remote access has slowed.

In 2009, supplemental questions on a current issue within the school library field focused on school library initiatives to address the ever-growing population of English Language Learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools. Respondents indicated a large ELL population, but a lack of initiatives and materials to support the growing need. This year's study will include additional questions regarding the impact of digital content and resources on school library programs and student learning.

“The continued high response from schools suggests that school librarians are anxious to share information about the conditions of their libraries. The new
Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs helps define the direction of school library programs as school librarians strive to meet the needs of the ever-changing school environment, and their input means that AASL will gain insight into timely issues like the impact of digital content and resources in school library programs on student learning,” said Barbara J. Ray, chair of AASL’s Research & Statistics Committee.

The survey will be conducted by KRC Research, an independent, third-party firm. More information about “School Libraries Count!” and its key findings from previous years is available at

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, 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.