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This is the "School Library Research" 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 12, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

School Library Research Print Page

Pennsylvania School Library Study: Findings and Recommendations

Here is the final report of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, conducted pursuant to House Resolution 987, published September 2011. Project Director, Deb Kachel, relates how the House Resolution to request the study was achieved in a this published article. Also found on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education web pages.


School Library Research Summarized

This booklet is the revision of a booklet originally produced in 2011, as a project of the graduate students in LSC 5530 School Library Advocacy, Mansfield University School Library & Info Technology program in February 2011. Graduate student Mary Jo Cooper assisted with the revision produced in June 2013. The booklet summarizes research studies from over 30 states  that correlate student achievement with qualities of school library programs. Click here for the pdf version.


The 1999-2000 Pennsylvania Study

Measuring Up to Standards: The Impact of School Library Programs & Information Literacy in Pennsylvania Schools (February 2000) was the foundational report by Keith Curry Lance, Marcia J. Rodney, and Christine Hamilton-Pennell that correlated higher levels of school library staffing, information technology,and integration of info literacy into the curriculum with higher PSSA reading test scores. Here are the findings.  The full text can be downloaded from ERIC.

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.


Is the Library Important?

Is The Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level

Stephen Krashen, Syying Lee, & Jeff McQuillan

 Journal of Language and Literacy Education:

Three multivariate analyses, all controlling for the effects of poverty, confirm the importance of the library. Replicating McQuillan’s analysis of 1992 NAEP scores, this study finds that access to books in school and public libraries was a significant predictor of 2007 fourth grade NAEP reading scores, as well as the difference between grade 4 and grade 8 2007 NAEP reading scores, suggesting that access is important for improvement after grade 4. Access (school/classroom libraries) was a significant predictor of scores on the PIRLS test, a reading test given to fourth graders in 40 countries.


Project Funded by IMLS

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.


School Library Impact Studies 101

If you need to be updated on the body of research known as the "School library Impact Studies" here is a good place to start.

Also read this summary:

Spinks, Andy. “Library Media Programs and Student Achievement.” Cobb County School District-Library Media Education. Cobb County School District, 2009. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. < >. 

New York Study

The Regents Reform Agenda in New York, the New York Comprehensive Center was asked in the Spring of 2011 to prepare a brief which highlights specific examples of programs in states that have had success utilizing school libraries to improve student achievement. Here is the report.

NEW Colorado Study 2012


New Jersey Three-Year Study


State Requirements for School Libraries and Staffing

There is no federal constitutional requirement for school districts to provide school libraries; each individual state, therefore, has the discretion to pass legislation and regulations allowing school libraries to be established, operated and maintained in schools

NEW Australian Study

These new Australian findings offer an evidenced based snapshot of school libraries and teacher-librarians, from the principals’ perspective. They indicate that school NAPLAN scores for reading and writing were generally higher when student-to-library staff ratios were lower and when the school employed a teacher-librarian.


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