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Media Matters. “What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education .” -Harold Howe, former U.S. Commissioner of Education. The Media Program. In tough economic times, the media program may seem like an appropriate budgetary cut.

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media matters

Media Matters

“What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.”

-Harold Howe, former U.S. Commissioner of Education

the media program
The Media Program
  • In tough economic times, the media program may seem like an appropriate budgetary cut.
  • Some questions you may ask yourself:
    • Is it not an auxiliary program?
    • Does it draw in fans and sponsors like athletics or arts?
    • Are books not becoming obsolete?
    • How is the investment returned?
survey says
Survey says…
  • The media program has a significant impact on academic achievement.
  • While multiple studies have been conducted to verify this statement, these are most often cited:
    • Dr. Keith Lance, Colorado, 1993
    • Dr. Lance (follow-up), Colorado, Alaska, and Pennsylvania, 2000
    • Dr. James Baughman (citing the Simmons study), Massachusetts, 2000
  • Students at all three levels – elementary, middle, and high school – achieve higher scores on their standardized assessments when the school places high value on the media program.
    • Budget that supports a high quality program
    • Technology-rich environment
    • Opportunities for instruction and enrichment
    • Professional and support staff
supportive budget
Supportive Budget
  • “Of all the expenditures that influence a school’s effectiveness…the level of expenditures for library and media services has the highest correlation with student achievement” (Baughman, 2000).
  • A well-developed media program helps level the playing field for lower income families, especially with:
    • High book count per pupil
    • High expenditure per pupil (print and nonprint)
    • Rich and up-to-date resources (print and nonprint)
technology rich environment
Technology-Rich Environment
  • Successful schools incorporate technology in their media centers.
    • Allows 24/7 access to resources
    • Expands the walls of the media center, pushing information into classrooms and homes
    • Provides opportunity for global learning
    • Makes easy access to a wealth of information the norm
instruction and enrichment
Instruction and Enrichment
  • High academic achievement was more prevalent when:
    • Information literacy was taught in conjunction with class curriculum
    • The collection is aligned with curricular frameworks
    • Reading for pleasure is promoted to the student body.
    • Student use is at a premium.
professional and support staff
Professional and Support Staff
  • Schools with high scores…
    • Had a full-time librarian, as well as support personnel
    • Utilized parent volunteers
    • Kept longer hours before and after school, which can only be accomplished with a full library staff
    • Allowed the librarian to be a leader in the school, collaborating with teachers and helping develop the school-wide curriculum
  • When collaborating with the classroom teacher, the librarian should:
    • Be an integral part of planning instructional units
    • Identify materials for teacher use
    • Teach information literacy to students during the unit
    • Provide extra reading and information opportunities
  • In such collaborations, library media staff help raise student scores by:
    • Enhancing learning experiences
    • Building teacher effectiveness
teacher leader
Teacher Leader
  • The librarian must be a leader in the school community. This can be done by:
    • Meeting regularly with administrators
    • Serving on standards and curriculum committees
    • Meeting with the library and school-wide staff to plan and evaluate the effectiveness of media program activities, specifically in their impact on student learning
    • Providing in-service training to teachers
information power
Information Power
  • In 1998, the American Association of School Librarians released Information Power, a book that outlines standards defining the librarian’s role in student learning. Among those listed are:
    • Collaboration
    • Serving as a leader in the schools
    • Incorporating technology
    • Information access and delivery
    • Connecting to the learning community
empowering learners
Empowering Learners
  • In Empowering Learners, the AASL highlights the changing roles of the school library media specialist. These include:
    • Teacher: helping students become information literate
    • Leader: building 21st century skills in the entire school environment
    • Instructional partner: collaborating with teachers to align assignments to standards
    • Information specialist: teaching and modeling new forms of technology
    • Program administrator: designing the media program to meet the needs of the whole school community
why media matters
Why Media Matters
  • Administrators have to make decisions that will give them the most return for their investment.
  • Research shows that placing a high priority on the media program can result in a 10-20% rise in academic achievement, especially in scores on standardized testing.
  • Not providing high-quality media resources actually damages our students because we deprive them of opportunities for growth that may affect their future educational avenues.
we matter
We Matter…
  • If you want to lead a successful school, you need the right people on your team and you need the right programs in place.
  • Media specialists are valuable contributors to the learning community – students, teachers, administrators, and parent.
  • The media program provides unique academic opportunities that students cannot experience in the classroom alone.
  • American Association of School Librarians. (2009). Empowering learners: Guidelines for schoollibrary media programs. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • American Association of School Librarians. (1998). Information power: Building partnerships for learning. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Baughman, J. (2000). School libraries and MCAS scores. Retrieved from schoollibraries/Baughman%20Paper.pdf
  • Callison, D. (1987). "Evaluator and educator: The school media specialist." TechTrends, 32(25).
  • Lance, K. & Loertscher, D. (2003). Powering achievement, 2nd edition: School library media programs make a difference.Retrieved from

Pickard, P. (1993). Current research: The instructional consultant role of the school library media specialist. School Library Media Quarterly, 21(2). Retrieved from power/selctpickard

  • Weil, E. (2012). Meet your new school librarian. Retrieved from