PA Study Finds Full-Time Librarians Increase Student Achievement

A PA study from the Colorado-based RSL Research Group indicates that access to a full-time school librarian positively impacts student achievement. Students in grades 3 to 11 with such access scored higher on the 2010-2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in Reading, “regardless of socioeconomic, racial/ethnic and/or disability status.” In addition, “nearly twice as many high school students who have access to a full-time, certified librarian scored Advanced on the PSSA Writing test as those students without access to a full-time, certified librarian…”

Tests were examined based on five factors relating to school libraries. These factors were:

  • Staffing
  • Collections
  • Digital Resources and Technology Infrastructure
  • Library Access
  • Funding

Access to a full-time, certified librarian had the greatest impact on student achievement. These results support recommendation number 11 from Creating the Future, which states, “Expand the existing Commissioner’s Regulations (91.2) to require an elementary school librarian in every school to strengthen instructional leadership in meeting the P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, and enforce library staffing regulations in all public schools.” Recommendation 11 has been named the main priority recommendation for school libraries in implementation. (To see the full list, visit:

For more information on this study, visit:

For additional studies on the effects of school libraries and librarians, check out NYCC’s Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement at:


Bernard A. Margolis

Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian


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