State Board StudyOnline SurveysCited
LegislatorsTeachersAdministratorsParentsOther LibrariansStudents
InfographicsTalking Points & QuotesPowerPoints
Annual ReportsMonthly Reports
LeadershipAdvocacyMessagingFunding & GrantsGallery Crawl
MentoringCommunications Network2016 SLA ProjectsPLEPA AssemblyPowerPointsCommunicationsNewslettersNew AASL StandardsSurveys
This is the "Home" page of the "PA School Library Project" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

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

Home Print Page

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,

  1. what infrastructure, defined as staffing, budgets, collections, technology, access hours, and professional development for librarians, contributes most to student achievement
  2. the costs and benefits associated with them, and
  3. 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:

"Sense and Sensibility: Why Librarians Remain Essential to Our Schools"


In the School Library Monthly advocacy blog by Rebecca Morris:

Committing to Advocacy

Resources for School Library Impact Studies

School Library Study Highlighted by Education Advocacy Group


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) 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.

Self subscribe or you can email the list moderator, Deb Kachel at



This website is financially supported by Hosting Solutions and Library Consulting (HSLC) and the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA)


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.

More Published Articles


Editor Contact Information

Debra E. Kachel, the Legislative Liaison to the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, and Adjunct instructor, K-12 Library Media Endorsement Program, Antioch University Seattle


Loading  Loading...