School librarians are instructional consultant from whom classroom teachers can learn of more numerous, more authoritative, and more current books, articles, and databases than they would ever find on their own. While elementary and middle school library staff typically spend only two or three hours per week helping to improved instruction in this way, it appears to be making a difference in reading performance at those grade levels (increases of almost eight and seven percent, respectively). The payoff of this type of librarian-teacher cooperation is more students meeting or exceeding ISAT writing standards at those grade levels (almost 10 and 13 percent, respectively.)
Typically, responding middle school libraries report 18 group visits per week, eight of which are for information literacy instruction… For middle schools that have more group visits, and especially more group visits for information literacy instruction, eighth-grade ISAT [ Illinois Standard Achievement Test] writing performance averages more than 10 and almost nine percent, respectively, better than for schools with libraries visited less often.
The [author’s] study took place in a Midwestern county with a population of approximately 120.000… Poverty level of the county was 12% and this level even goes higher for under the age of 18 year old children, 14.1%. Approximately 15.000 children were enrolled in K-12 schools in 1999. 30% of these children were eligible for free or reduced fee lunch program (CAPE,2007). These data show that, at-risk children’s number is high enough not to be ignored. These children should be ready for school and public libraries may play a vital role in this process.
Eighty-one percent (81%) of economically impacted Americans have a library card compared to 68% for Americans who have not been impacted. Economically impacted Americans are 50% more likely to visit their library at least weekly (18% vs. 12%) and are nearly a third more likely to visit at least once a month (36% vs. 27%). More than a third (37%) of economically impacted respondents said they are using the library more often than they did before the economic downturn. Increased library use is substantially higher than any other lifestyle activity increase measured.
A majority of public libraries, 67%, report that they are the only free source of computer and Internet access for the communities they serve.