A recent article in School Library Journal, titled Latest Study: A Full-Time School Librarian Makes a Critical Difference in Boosting Student Achievement, discusses a study finding that school libraries and librarians have a positive impact on student achievement.
The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA), Education Law Center (ELC) and Health Sciences Library Consortium were awarded a National Leadership research grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this study. By analyzing the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), which measures reading, writing, math, and science achievement for schoolchildren, this study determined that “reading and writing scores are better for students who have a full-time certified librarian than those who don’t.” Research showed that having a school librarian affected writing scores more than reading scores, indicating that writing scores may be a better indicator of a student’s understanding of 21st Century Learner and Pennsylvania/Common Core Standards.
Since the PSSA “maintains separate test scores for subgroups of students who are economically disadvantaged, black, Hispanic, and have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs),” researchers were also able to analyze the affects of a full-time school librarian on these populations. Findings show that these students befitted proportionally more than other students, indicating that school libraries and librarians can play a major role in closing the achievement gap.
When the study initially began, researchers discovered that many lawmakers were ignorant to the struggles facing school libraries in that many did not know that schools were not required to have libraries, while others were unaware of how quickly school library programs were being cut. This led researchers to conclude that the role of the school librarian in sharing these findings and advocating for full-time positions is necessary to increase student achievement.
To read the full article, visit: http://www.slj.com/2013/03/research/librarian-required-a-new-study-shows-that-a-full-time-school-librarian-makes-a-critical-difference-in-boosting-student-achievement/