AASL releases white paper outlining research agenda

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/02/2014


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



 CHICAGO – The white paper resulting from the “Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS)” forum, convened by the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) and funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is now available for view and comment on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/research.

In April 2014, 50 research scholars from across the nation gathered in Chicago to plan a national research agenda focused on demonstrating the positive influences of effective school librarians and quality school libraries on student learning.  Leading the discussion was Dr. Thomas Cook, a professor and faculty research fellow from Northwestern (Ill.) University. Considered one of the most influential methodologists in education research, Cook’s interests include social science research methodology, program evaluation, school reform and contextual factors that influence adolescent development, particularly for urban minorities.

Cook was joined by a five-member panel of expert scholars and practitioners from information science, library studies and education. Panelists included John Brock, associate, New York State Education Department; Marcia Mardis, associate professor, Florida State University; Joseph Maxwell, professor, George Mason University; Shana Pribesh, associate professor, Old Dominion University; and Paul Lanata, director of library media services, Jefferson County Public Schools. The panel was moderated by Jody Howard, director of the Palmer School, Long Island University and Sue Kimmel, assistant professor, Old Dominion University.

The white paper captures the discussion held and proposes a progression of research methods and projects that will support efforts toward theory building, exploratory research and demonstration research. It also outlines mechanisms by which a community of scholars can be cultivated and nurtured toward furthering the research agenda and its activities. It is available for download on the AASL website and comments regarding the findings will be accepted until Oct. 15.

The white paper and research findings will be discussed during a session at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The session will take place from 3 - 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 29, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N109.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number LG-62-13-0212-13. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

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.