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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

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strong libraries strong scores the impact of school libraries librarians on academic achievement

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 – [email protected] – www.RSLresearch.com

outline
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
previous research
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
information power model
Information PowerModel

Successor to earlier IP & Library Power

Themes

  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Technology

Roles

  • Learning & Teaching
  • Information Access & Delivery
  • Program Administration
standards based education
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
technology
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”
challenge to recent studies
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
schools libraries studied
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
library predictors of academic achievement
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
library predictors of academic achievement10
Library Predictors of Academic Achievement
  • Staff Activities
    • Learning & Teaching
    • Information Access & Delivery
    • Program Administration
library predictors of academic achievement11
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
library predictors of academic achievement12
Library Predictors of Academic Achievement

Staff Activities

Information Access & Delivery

  • Developing collections
  • Identifying print & electronic resources for classroom teachers
  • Motivating students to read
library predictors of academic achievement13
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
library predictors of academic achievement14
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
library predictors of academic achievement15
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
the latest results sample illinois findings
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)
controlling for other school community conditions
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)
academic achievement predictors ranked
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
the latest results sample indiana findings
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
recommended actions
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
other research questions
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?
what you can do
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
for more information
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
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