At the elementary school level, the percentage of students with advanced scores averaged higher, if principals and other administrators considered it essential (vs. less than essential) for:the librarian to provide in-service professional development to faculty (20.6% for the language arts, 17.8% for reading);the librarian’s instructional role to be addressed in teacher hiring interviews (22.0% for language arts, 17.4% for reading)the librarian to be appointed to school committees (16.8% for language arts, 13.8% for reading); andthe librarian and the principal to meet regularly (15.6% for reading only).
Impact on Reading and Literacy
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.
It is clear from the findings that there are some highly effective school libraries in Delaware—school libraries that are strongly integrated into the learning fabric of the school and which contribute to student learning outcomes. These school libraries have a common set of characteristics: a state-certified, full time, library media specialist in the building the availability of para-professional staff who undertake routine administrative tasks and free the library media specialist to undertake instructional initiatives and reading literacy initiatives a library program that is based on flexible scheduling so that library media specialists and classroom teachers can engage in collaborative planning and delivery of information literacy instruction an active instructional program of information literacy integrated into curriculum content, and targeted towards learning curriculum content and skills a school library that meets resource recommendations of 15-20 books per child the provision of professional development on information literacy and technology literacies to the teaching faculty a budget allocation of $12-$15 per student per year to ensure currency and vitality of the information base a strong networked information technology infrastructure that facilitates access to and use of information resources in an and out of school
“Report On The Delaware School Library Survey”. Governor's Task Force On School Libraries. Georgetown, DE: University Of Delaware Library.. 2005.
Elementary schools with larger library collections in [periodical and video collections] averaged 67 to 73 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced and 9 to 11 percent scoring unsatisfactory. Schools with smaller library collections averaged 61 to 67 percent scoring proficient or advanced and 12 to 14 percent unsatisfactory.
Elementary schools with better-funded libraries averaged 68 to 72 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced and 9 to 10 percent scoring unsatisfactorily. Schools with more poorly-funded libraries averaged 62 to 67 percent scoring proficient or advanced and 12 to 14 percent unsatisfactory.
For elementary schools that have at least one full-time endorsed librarian, the percentage of third, fourth, and fifth grade students scoring proficient or advanced in reading is consistently higher than for schools with lower staffing levels—a 4 to 5 percent absolute difference and a 6 to 8 percent proportional difference.
When LM predictors are maximized (e.g., staffing, expenditures, and information resources and technology), CSAP [Colorado Student Assessment Program] reading scores tend to run 18 percent higher in fourth grade and 10 to 15 percent higher in seventh.
Students at schools with better funded LMCs [Library Media Centers] tend to achieve higher average test scores, whether their schools and communities are rich or poor and whether adults in the community are well or poorly educated.
A library media center should be staffed by an endorsed library media specialist who is involved not only in identifying materials suitable for school curricula, but also in collaborating with teachers and others in developing curricula. This involvement in the instructional process helps to shape a larger—and, presumably, more appropriate—local collection. Students who score higher on norm-referenced tests tend to come from schools where this instructional role is more prominent.