Press Release of Research Findings
New PA Study Shows Full-time School Librarian Boosts Student Achievement
Reading and Writing Scores Raised on PSSA Tests for All Student Groups
Having access to a full-time, certified school librarian means better outcomes for Pennsylvania’s public school students, according to a new research from the Colorado-based RSL Research Group.
Read the full press release.
Why School Libraries Matter
A school library helps each school meet its mission of each student learning and achieving academic success. A school library helps teachers teach and students learn; it promotes information literacy and digital citizenship; it fosters in students a love of and enthusiasm for reading and encourages students to become life-long learners.
In the school library, students learn to access resources in many formats, become critical evaluators of information they need and use information technology effectively and ethically.
A school library inspires students to create new knowledge, pursue their interests, and relax with a good story—in print or e-book format.
But in too many Pennsylvania schools this school library is not the reality for students. Years of neglect have weakened many school libraries and diminished opportunities for students to learn. The neglect comes, in part, from misconceptions about the roles school libraries and school librarians play in student learning, especially in the 21st-century.
Produced by the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania, 2012, including photos of Pennsylvania school librarians and their students
About this IMLS National Leadership Grant Project
“Supporting the Infrastructure Needs of 21st Century School Library Programs” is an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant-funded research project designed to provide new research on the impact of Pennsylvania school library programs on student learning—specifically,
- what infrastructure, defined as staffing, budgets, collections, technology, access hours, and professional development for librarians, contributes most to student achievement
- the costs and benefits associated with them, and
- the gap between current Pennsylvania school library programs and what is needed to develop students with 21st century skills.
Additionally, the project will create communication tools, such as sample press releases, letters and editorials, and short podcasts and webinars that are easily understood by laypersons, that can be shared and used to develop partnerships among stakeholder groups beyond the traditional library community.
The project partners are: The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) represented by Deb Kachel, HSLC, represented by Exec. Director, Joe Scorza, and The Education Law Center (ELC) of Pennsylvania, represented by Sandy Zelno. The RSL Research Group, Louisville, CO, represented by Dr. Keith Curry Lance, will conduct the research.
Other participating organizations: School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, represented by Dr. Mary Kay Biagini, who will assist with research and focus groups and the PALM (Partnerships Advancing Library Media) Center, Florida State University, represented by Drs. Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis, who will conduct an external evaluation of the project.
Project Year: November 2011 - 2012
Amount Funded: $434,231
Although this project is being funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Blogging the PA School Library Research
Huffington Post blog by Yohura Williams on 1/2/2015:
In the School Library Monthly advocacy blog by Rebecca Morris:
In GalleyCat blogged byJason Boog, Nov. 16, 2012
In GalleyCat blogged byJason Boog, Nov. 16, 2012
Stephen's Lighthouse by Stephen Abrams republished the project's media release, Oct 23, 2012
Join the PSLAN Listserv of Library Supporters
Join a moderated, announcements-only listserv for the general public called the Pennsylvania School Library Advocates Network (PSLAN) PSLAN@hslc.org. Information about Pennsylvania school library programs will be shared including, updates on state legislation needing your support, media coverage about PA school libraries, and links to relevant, new research on school libraries and their impact on student learning.
Read the article published online by School Library Journal which included these graphics.
Also published as “Librarian Required” in the March 2013 School Library Journal, pages 28-31.
Published Articles about the Project
- Creating 21st-Century Learners
- How Do School Libraries Help Students
- PSLA Partners on an IMLS National Leadership Research Grant
- Achieving Academic Standards through the School Library Program
- Building Advocacy Before a Crisis
- Supporting the Infrastructure Needs of 21st Century School Library Programs
- What School Administrators Think About Their School Library Programs