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Strong Libraries, Strong Scores The Impact of School Libraries & Librarians on Academic Achievement






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Strong Libraries, Strong Scores The Impact of School Libraries & Librarians on Academic Achievement. Keith Curry Lance RSL Research Group Louisville, Colorado. Outline. Background States involved, Info Power context Results Library predictors of academic achievement
Strong Libraries, Strong Scores The Impact of School Libraries & Librarians on Academic Achievement

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Slide 1

Strong Libraries, Strong ScoresThe Impact of School Libraries & Librarians on Academic Achievement

Keith Curry Lance

RSL Research Group

Louisville, Colorado

Keith Curry Lance – RSL Research Group – Louisville, Colorado

303-466-1860 – keithlance@comcast.net – www.RSLresearch.com

Slide 2

Outline

  • Background

    • States involved, Info Power context

  • Results

    • Library predictors of academic achievement

    • Controlling for school & community conditions

  • Implications

    • Recommended actions

    • Other research questions

    • What you can do

Slide 3

Previous Research

1950s-1980’s: largely experimental research

  • Librarian as teacher, co-teacher, tutor

  • Collections, technology, interlibrary cooperation

  • Library staff, budgets, teacher & principal support

    1992/3: 1st Colorado study: statistical analysis

  • School Match episode

  • “School Match Revisited” aftermath

  • The Big Question … and the answer

Slide 4

Information PowerModel

Successor to earlier IP & Library Power

Themes

  • Collaboration

  • Leadership

  • Technology

    Roles

  • Learning & Teaching

  • Information Access & Delivery

  • Program Administration

Slide 5

Standards-Based Education

Standardized, norm-referenced tests

  • Reading tests

  • Library/study skills tests

  • Percentile rankings (grading “on the curve”)

    Standards-based tests

  • Content standards

  • Information literacy standards

  • Percent who meet or exceed standards

Slide 6

Technology

  • Rapid growth in availability of computers, Internet access, World Wide Web capabilities in schools

  • Changing nature of teacher-librarian & technology specialist jobs

  • Common ground: “information literacy”

Slide 7

Challenge to Recent Studies

Take into account

  • Info Power/Library Power movements

  • Standards-based education

  • Technology developments

    Get message out beyond “the choir”

  • Principals, teachers

  • Technology specialists

  • Parents, students

Slide 8

Schools & Libraries Studied

  • Since 2000, 15 states

    • AK, CO, FL, IA, IL, MA, MI, MN, MO, NC, NM, OR, PA, TX, WI … and Ontario

  • Over 10,000 schools

  • Elementary, middle and high school libraries serving an estimated 3 million students

Slide 9

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

Library staffing

Professional staff (teacher-librarians)

  • Master’s/bachelor’s degrees

  • Teacher certification & experience

  • Library endorsement

    Support staff

  • Library aides, technology aides

Slide 10

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

  • Staff Activities

    • Learning & Teaching

    • Information Access & Delivery

    • Program Administration

Slide 11

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

Staff Activities

Learning & Teaching

  • Planning with classroom teachers

  • Teaching students with classroom teachers

  • Teaching information literacy skills to students (without classroom teachers)

  • Providing in-service training to classroom teachers

Slide 12

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

Staff Activities

Information Access & Delivery

  • Developing collections

  • Identifying print & electronic resources for classroom teachers

  • Motivating students to read

Slide 13

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

Staff Activities

Program Administration

  • Meeting regularly with principal

  • Attending faculty meetings

  • Serving on key committees

  • Meeting with other school librarians

Slide 14

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

  • School library hours of operation

    • Before, during & after school

    • In summer

    • Flexible access/scheduling

  • School library usage

    • Group visits

    • Individual visits

    • Both for information literacy skills instruction

Slide 15

Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

Technology

Numbers of computers

  • In library

  • Elsewhere in school

    Providing access to

    • Library catalogs

    • Licensed databases

    • State-specific packages of databases Internet/World Wide Web

Slide 16

The Latest Results: sample Illinois findings

  • Test scores higher at schools with more:

    • Flexible scheduling (+10-11% elem.)

    • Library staffing (+17-18% elem., middle)

    • Librarian/teacher collaboration (+8% elem.)

    • Current collections (+13-14% middle)

    • Library & other connected computers/100 (+8-11% middle)

    • Library spending (+5% elem., +9% middle, +12% high)

    • Circ (+11%, elem.), group visits (+9-10%, middle)

Slide 17

Controlling for Other School & CommunityConditions

  • School library development factor

    • Staffing, collections, expenditures

  • Other school conditions

    • Per pupil spending

    • Teacher-pupil ratio

  • Community conditions

    • Poverty (NSLP eligibility)

    • Minority enrollment

    • Adult educational attainment (age 25+ graduated from high school)

Slide 18

Ranked by percent of test score variation explained:

Poverty (NSLP eligibility): 50-65%

School library development: up to 8%, typically 3%

Variables that don’t explain any test score variation consistently:

Adult educational attainment

Minority enrollment

Per pupil spending

Teacher-pupil ratio

Academic Achievement Predictors Ranked

Slide 19

Scores higher where principals place more value on:

meeting with LMS (+17%),

appointing LMS to committees (+10%),

LMS & teachers planning & teaching collaboratively (+8%),

LMS providing in-service (+30%)

Third-grade scores higher at elementary schools where teachers report LMS more frequently:

initiates collaboration (+16%),

offers instructional resources (+14%),

classes visit on flexible schedule (+11%)

The Latest Results: sample Indiana findings

Slide 20

Recommended Actions

  • Staff school libraries with professional & support staff

  • Stock them with current books & licensed databases as well as Internet computers

  • Fund them to support school’s curriculum and state’s standards

  • Adopt flexible scheduling

  • Utilize school computer network to extend library program’s reach into every classroom

Slide 21

Other ResearchQuestions

  • How best can leadership and collaboration skills of teacher-librarians be developed?

  • What do teachers and administrators know—and need to learn—about the role of school libraries?

  • How can information literacy and technology dovetail to maximize library’s impact?

Slide 22

What You Can Do

  • Collect and share meaningful numbers annually

  • Record and share success stories

  • Respond to appeals from researchers

  • Pursue “action research” projects locally

Slide 23

For more information…

  • Visit the School Library Impact Studies page on the Library Research Service website at: http://www.LRS.org/impact.asp

  • Contact Keith Curry Lance

    • Tel.: 303-466-1860

    • E-mail: keithlance@comcast.net


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