PSLA Staffing Reports
PA School Library Staffing Surveys
The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association has conducted a survey the past three school years to gather data on school library staffing to update the "snapshot" data collected for a Pennsylvania State Board of Education report conducted in Spring 2011. Over the three years, Pennsylvania schools have lost 15% of its school librarians. PSLA continues to annually collect data on professional school librarian staffing showing the following results.
- 76 school librarian positions lost in 2013-14, a 4% decrease from the previous year
- 120 positions or 6% decrease in professional staffing in 2012-2013 from 2011-12
- 95.25 positions or 5% decrease in professional staffing in 2011-2012
- The staffing reductions efffect all grade levels and all geographic regions.
- Although more prevalent in poorer communities, even wealthy schools have reduced school librarian positions.
Pennsylvania School Librarians Assn. (PSLA)
Links to PA Dept. of Education
Project Funded by IMLS
This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
PCN-TV Show on Pennsylvania Libraries, April 2014
The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) produced a one-hour talk show on libraries in their "Focus on Education" series broadcast on PCN television. The panel discussed why libraries are important to an educated workforce and an educated citizenry, the condition of public and school libraries in Pennsylvania, how libraries are funded, 'School Library Month' events, and much more.
The panel included:
- Ron Cowell, President of EPLC and Host of the "Focus on Education" programs;
- Mary Kay Biagini, Ph.D., Director, School Library Certification Program and Associate Professor of Library and Information Science, University of Pittsburgh;
- Eileen Kern, President, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; and
- Janis Stubbs, President, Pennsylvania Library Association and Assistant Director/District Consultant, Delaware County Library System
April 2014 – Public and School Libraries in Pennsylvania – Click here to watch the show.
Basic Education Funding Commission 2014
The Basic Education Funding Commission is a legislatively-created bipartisan body made up of state legislators and members of the Governor’s cabinet whose task is to propose a statewide funding formula. Here is a link to their website listing members, videos of testimonies and meeting and other updated info.
Testimony by the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania
Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman of the Education Law Center provided testimony to the Basic Education Funding Commission at the PIttsburgh meeting. Among other things, ELC's testimony served as a reminder that all students are entitled to fair, equitable education funding, without major cuts to programs like tutoring and arts programs - which are not extras, but core parts of an educational program - and that there are currently thousands of students stuck in this broken system.
Recent Testimony by Carol Hiensdorf on behalf of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS)
Written testimony submitted for the November 18, 2014, hearing in Philadelphia
On November 10, the Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia filed a major suit against the governor, legislature, and Department of Education on behalf of parents, school districts, and community groups. Read supporting articles on the PASchoolTalk blog.
New Study on Pennsylvania's Funding of Education
Educational Equity, Adequacy, and Equal Opportunity in the Commonwealth: An Evaluation of Pennsylvania's School Finance System
Pennsylvania House Education Committee Hearing on School Library Funding
On August 22, 2012, the PA House Education Committee held a Hearing on School Library Funding. The Pa. School Librarians Assn. requested the hearing in order to share the findings of the 2011 PA State Board of Education's study called the Pennsylvania School Library Study. The snapshot of the state's public school library programs examined staffing, funding, collections, library access hours, and instruction. Testimonies of those who testified that day or submitted written testimonies are linked here as well as a video of a few of the testifers who commented after the Hearing shown below.
The Pennsylvania PTA Resolution Supporting School Libraries
Pennsylvania- "A Typical Day in the School Library"
YouTube video created by Mary Schwander, high School librarian, New Hope-Solebury School District, New Hope, PA, with assistance from Karen Hornberger, high school librarian, Palisades School District, Kintnersville, PA. This video was played prior to the beginning of the PA House Education Committee Hearing on School Library Funding, August 22, 2012.
Guidelines for Pennsylvania School Library Programs c2011
Developed in the Summer of 2010 by a group of Pennsylvania school library leaders and staff from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, these guidelines outline the role of the school library and librarian in teaching and learning, collaboration, management and leadership desired for all students and school in the state. This publication was supported in whole by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pa. Dept. of Education. The document is also located in WebJunction.
Previous PA Statewide Study, 1999-2000
Measuring Up to Standards reports the findings from the 1999-2000 Keith Curry Lance study which found that Pennsylvania school library programs can make a difference supporting the efforts of schools to measure up to standards. Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) reading scores increase with increases in the following characteristics of school library programs: staffing, information technology, and integration of information literacy into the curriculum. In addition, as library staffing, information resources and information technology rise, so too does the involvement of school librarians in teaching students and teachers how to find and assess information. The relationship between staffing and test scores is not explained away by other school or community conditions. For the full 101 page document, click here.
This publication was supported in whole by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administeered by Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pa. Dept. of Education.
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New Teacher Evaluation System Coming to PA
PSLA's Professional Standards Committee has created a “Tip Sheet” to assist school librarians as they familiarize themselves with the new Danielson Framework under which they will be evaluated. Using both the framework for teachers and the examples specific to librarians, the tip sheet endeavors to provide guiding reflection questions to determine whether or not you are demonstrating specific qualities or actions that reflect a domain objective. Additionally, it provides librarians with a few examples of evidence to present to an administrator during a post observation meeting that highlights those domain requirements. PSLA hopes that this document will simplify the entire rubric for librarians and make the four domains more clear as they relate to the role of the school librarian.