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This is the "Focus Groups" page of the "PA School Library Project" guide.
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A school library research project funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to study the impact of school library programs and librarians on student achievement in Pennsylvania; edited by Debra E. Kachel
Last Updated: Dec 3, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Focus Groups Print Page

About this Page

Information about the four regional focus groups will be posted on this page. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Focus Groups Held

Four focus groups were held regionally throughout Pennsylvania. The purpose was to get input from stakeholders and interested organizations about what they value and expect from school library programs. The following sessions were held.

March 27, 2012  Pittsburgh, Achieva

March 28, 2012  Greensburg, Westmoreland IU

April 12, 2012 Hershey preceding the Pennsylvania School Librarians Assn. Conference

April 18, 2012 Philadelphia, United Way


Focus Group Participants

The Project Leaders would like to acknowledge and thank the following Focus Group participants who contributed their time and valuable ideas to this project.


Focus Group PowerPoint

This PowerPoint was created by Dr. Mary Kay Biagini to introduce the four Focus Groups to the qualities of a good school library program prior to the small and large group activities. After discussions, participants determined the top three areas of school library programs that they felt should be funded, given limited funding sources.


2011 Pennsylvania School Library Study

Below are the summarized notes of Dr. Mary Kay Biagini, University of Pittsburgh, who analyzed the data and wrote the Pennsylvania School Library Study report as requested by the Pa. State Board of Education in Spring 2011, as a result of House Resolution 987. With a participation rate of 73% of the public schools in Pennsylvania, the study provided a "snapshot" of school libraries in terms of staffing, library access, collections, budgets, technologies, and responsibilities/activities of school librarians. The report also includes recommendations by Dr. Biagini based on the data and three roundtables conducted in Fall 2011 that provided public input.


PSEA Voice Article

An article about the preliminary findings and the perspectives gathered from the Focus Groups was published in June 2012 issue of the Pa. State Education Association's journal The Voice of Education. Read the article "School Library Programs Improve Student Learning."


Evaluation of the Focus Groups

The Focus group sessions were evaluated by Florida State University’s PALM Center by Drs. Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis through a series of telephone interviews with selected focus group participants.The following report does not include the appendices (pp.19- 36). 


Summary of Focus Groups


Focus Groups Analyzed

Read an analysis of the focus groups by researchers Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis as published in the refereed journal School Library Research.

Everhart, Nancy, and Marcia Mardis. What Do Stakeholders Know about School Library Programs? Results of a Focus Group Evaluation


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