Library media specialists (LMSs) exert a complex web of effects on the LM programs. Findings about these effects are summed up in the following description of a strong LM program. A strong LM program is one that is adequately staffed, stocked, and funded. Minimally, this means one full-time library media specialist (LMS) and one full-time aide. The relationship, however, is incremental; as the staffing, collections and funding of LM programs grow, reading scores rise. whose staff are actively involved leaders in their school’s teaching and learning enterprise. A successful LMS is one who has the ear and support of the principal, serves with other teachers on the school’s standards and curriculum committees, and holds regular meetings of the LM staff. Students succeed where the LMS participates with classroom teachers and administrators in making management decisions that encourage higher levels of achievement by every student whose staff have collegial, collaborative relationships with classroom teachers. A successful LMS is one who works with a classroom teacher to identify materials that best support and enrich an instructional unit, is a teacher of essential information literacy skills to students, and, indeed, is a provider of in-service training opportunities to classroom teachers. Students succeed where the LMS is a consultant to, a colleague with, and a teacher of other teachers. that embraces networked information technology. The library media center of today is no longer a destination; it is a point of departure for accessing the information resources that are the essential raw material of teaching and learning. Computers in classrooms, labs and other school locations provide networked access to information resource—the library catalog, electronic full text, licensed databases, locally mounted databases, and the Internet. Students succeed where the LM program is not a place to go, apart from other sites of learning in the school, but rather an integral part of the educational enterprise that reaches out to students and teachers where they are.
Effective school libraries are much more than books. They are learning hubs, each with a full range of print and electronic resources that support student achievement.
… [H]igher and lower scoring elementary schools are distinguished by the amount of time school library staff spend in teaching students and teachers how to access and use print and electronic information resources. At higher achieving schools library staff spend three days on such activities for every two by lower achieving schools… At higher achieving schools at all grade levels, library staff are involved in committees and provide in-service training to teachers. Library staff at lower achieving schools usually do not engage in these activities at all.
In Florida high schools, FCAT [Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test] scores are higher where:The library media center is staffed more hours per week.There are more certified library media specialists.There are more paid library media staff members.There are more interlibrary loans provided to other schools in the district.There are more visits to the library media center to use technologyThere are more networked computers in the school and more computers with Internet access.There are more computers in the library media center and more computers have Internet access.
In addition to being an instructional leader, the LMS of the five schools also serves as the technology integration leader… Being technologically proficient and knowledgeable about current and new technologies, the LMS is the motivating force behind the integration of technology into the curriculum. She facilitates integration by identifying electronic resources and tools for use with different curricular units.
The successful schools in the present sample had more print volumes, more magazine subscriptions, more electronic subscriptions, more video materials, more reference titles on CD-ROM, and more student software packages available for student use. In the area of technology, the successful schools had more than twice the number of computers in their libraries; 14 compared to 5.27. Among the successful schools, more than twice as many computers as opposed to the unsuccessful schools were Internet connected or connected to a printer. The implication is that in successful schools students have greater access to electronic research tools in their school library than students in unsuccessful schools.
Principals often perceive their librarian as the technology leader in the school. Librarians have an impact on both teachers’ and students’ technology use
Library networking (human and electronic) accounted for 8.2 percent of the variance in principles correlated with student academic achievement. The individual principles included: LMS meetings and library networking.
Librarians and library programs appear to positively influence students’ research-skills development and motivation for research and inquiry, particularly in the use of information technologies such as databases and the Web.
Increases in eleventh grade reading scores are usually reported by Michigan high school libraries that have: higher numbers and weekly hours of librarian and total library staff; more total weekly hours of operation, and more weekly hours for flexible access/scheduling; librarian spending more time supporting school computer networks; larger collections of print volumes and video materials; and access to more computers—both in the library and throughout the school—that provide links to Access Michigan, library catalogs and licensed databases, and the Internet and the World Wide Web; and more frequent individual visits to the library [#9, #10]; and more money for library operations [#13].
Participation in library programs for kids under 18 has been rising steadily in recent years, from almost 35.6 million/year in 1993, to 54.6 million/year in 2005, to 60.9 million/year in 2008 (the last year for which these statistics are available).
School librarians in New Jersey clearly take a strong instructional role in the providing students with the intellectual and technical scaffolds to engage with information technology in efficient and productive ways. Teaching search strategies, both in relation to the internet and specialized databases, library catalogs and directories, is given the most widespread emphasis. It is particularly encouraging to see the early adoption and integration of a range of web 2.0 technologies, tools and techniques to support curriculum content standards. This is highly commendable.
The school libraries in the high-performing schools spent over two and a half times as much money per 100 students on electronic access to information (e.g., online database searching, Internet access) than did those in the low-performing schools.
Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) reading scores increase in the following characteristics of school library information programs: staffing, information technology, and integration of information literacy into the curriculum.
At the high school level, schools with automated collections have higher average MCAS scores.
At every grade level, schools with more library and library-connected computers—particularly, in the latter case, Internet computers relative to the school’s enrollment—average higher test scores. The presence of more library computers is associated with percentage increases of:8 percent for fifth-and-eighth grade ISAT reading performancealmost 11 percent for eighth-grade ISAT writing performancejust over 5 percent for eleventh-grade ACT scores.
Students in better staffed programs [i.e., those with more library media specialists and more LMS hours] scored 8.4 to 21.8 percent higher on ACT English tests and 11.7 to 16.7 percent higher on ACT Reading tests compared to students in schools where library media programs had fewer resources.
84.9% of the students indicated that school library computers help them do their school work better… Two key features stand out in the students’ comments. First, students see a clear relationship between being able to access information through information technology, and achievement, in research assignments and projects. Second, the instructional intervention of the school librarian in developing students as effective users of information technology to search for information, and the development of students as discerning evaluators of web information plays a role in achieving good grades.
Teens are regular and enthusiastic patrons who continue to visit and utilize the public library at increasingly greater rates. In a 2007 poll, it was found that one-third of teens between the ages of 12–18 visited the public library ten times a year or more. Seventy-eight percent of teens who consider themselves “regular library visitors” borrow books and other materials for personal use from the public library on a frequent basis. Computer and online games have become part of the mix at many public libraries, and some use gaming to attract new patrons. Libraries’ response to gaming demonstrates the institutions’ flexibility and willingness to innovate in their response to changing audience interests. The Public Library Association’s 2007 Public Library Data Service Statistical Report, which tracked young adult service trends in public libraries, found that nearly 90% of the public libraries surveyed offer young adult services; over half (51.9%) employ at least one full-time equivalent staff person dedicated to fostering young adult programs and services. Compare this to 1994, when just 11% of libraries had a young adult librarian; 58% of librarians considered the lack of staff a barrier to increasing services for young adults and 61% indicated that insufficient services, resources, and programs were moderate or major barriers to increasing services and resources for young adults.
The school library, when one exists, is for many disadvantaged children a major source of exposure to books, magazines, and the newer media—learning materials that stimulate their thinking, creativity, learning, reading, and enjoyment. Our survey data suggest that children from a lower socioeconomic stratum who have a school library obtain a higher mean MCAS score than do similar children from schools that do not have such a program.
Where networked computers link school libraries with classrooms, labs, and other instructional sites, student earn higher PSSA reading test scores. These higher scores are particularly linked to the numbers of computers enabling teachers and students to utilize:the ACCESS PENNSYLVANIA database;licensed databases; andInternet/World Wide Web.