Research on Why School Library Media Centers Matter

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School Library Media Specialist Tricia Goodman collected the following information on the importance of school library media centers.  

Key to Student AchievementResearch studies from Alaska to North Carolina — more than 60 studies in all –have shown a direct correlation between high quality school library media programs and student achievement.
Some recent findings:

  • Spending for school library media programs is the single most important variable related to better student achievement.1
  • A school library program that is adequately staffed, resourced, and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the community.2
  • Students in schools with well-equiped library media centers staffed by professional library media specialists perform better on assessments of reading comprehension and basic research skills.3
  • Elementary students in schools with a certified librarian scored higher on language tests measuring reading, writing, and listening than those without a librarian.  According to preliminary findings, a 10 point increase in test scores existed in those schools with a library media specialist.4
  • Research by Keith Curry Lance shows a direct link between higher reading scores and collaboration between school library media specialists and teachers. Collaboration activities in which library media specialists should participate include identifying useful materials and information for teachers; planning instruction cooperatively with teachers; providing in-service training to teachers; and teaching students both with classroom teachers and independently.5
To learn more, visit the following links:The Impact of School Library Programs on Student Achievement 
Research studies from seventeen states that show the connection between good school libraries and student achievement.

School Libraries Work! Research foundation paper with findings from over a decade of studies on the effectiveness of school libraries. (PDF)

Sources:

  1. SchoolMatch.
  2. Scholastic Library Publishing, School Libraries Work!, 2008.
  3. Ken Haycock, What Works, 1992.
  4. New York State’s School Libraries and Library Media Specialists: An Impact Study, February 2008. http://www.nyla.org/content/user_1/Preliminary_Report_Small.pdf
  5. Keith Curry Lance, “What Research Tells Us About the Importance of School Libraries,” White House Conference on School Libraries, Institute of Museum and Library Services, June 2002, <www.imls.gov/pubs/whitehouse0602/keithlance.htm>. Accessed 7 June 2002.
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