How School Libraries Help Students Achieve? Strong School Library Media Programs make a difference in Achievement Based on the studies of Keith C. Lance and Dr. James C. Baughman, Ph.D.
Many years of studies, including some recently conducted by Keith C. Lance show a positive correlation between student test scores and the presence of well-staffed, well-stocked, well- supported school libraries. The better the library, the higher student achievement on standardized tests will become.
Lance conducted studies in several states to see how a variety of media center factors affect scores on standardized tests. What he found was that… Scores can be expected to be 10- 20% higher in schools that support strong library media programs!
These findings are also supported by the work of Dr. James C.Baughman’s whose research in Massachusetts demonstrates that the highest achieving students attend schools with good school libraries. His study showed that school libraries and student achievement are strongly related. School library programs are a valuable component of a child’s education because they enhance a child’s ability to achieve academic excellence..
Here is what they found.. Academic Achievement in schools is higher when: There is one or more professional library media specialist The library media specialist collaborates with teachers to build exciting units of instruction Large skilled support staff to free librarian from routine clerical duties and to allow time to teach, collaborate with teachers and engage in leadership activities outside the library.
Academic Achievement in schools is higher when: Networked computers providing access to catalogs, licensed databases and the Internet The library collection is very large, varied & up-to-date Student & teacher have access to the library during and beyond school hours Information literacy instruction is integrated into the curriculum
School libraries and librarians affect test scores in spite of… Community differences –Adult educational attainment –Poverty School differences –Teacher-pupil ratio –Per pupil school expenditures –Teachers’ experience and salaries
Strong Library Media Programs Provide A competent library media professional – the human interface Paraprofessional staff – organization/service functions Technical staff – technology support for the school
Strong Library Media Center Programs Produce Capable and avid readers Effective users of ideas and information Collaborative, exciting, high-quality learning experiences Learners who can compete in the information age
Other Important Research Conclusions Support staff were the key difference between strong and weak library media programs. Professionals alone cannot make a major difference due to the time restraints of clerical and technical work.
The successful implementation of the curriculum frameworks depends immeasurably on a strong school library program. School libraries are the foundation for resource-based teaching and learning.
What You Can Do To Make Your Students Successful Be S-M-A-R-T about your library Staff, stock, and fund your library to support your curriculum and test preparation. Meet regularly with your librarian. Acknowledge your librarian as a school leader and as a master teacher. Reward your librarian and teachers for planning and teaching cooperatively. Take credit for making your library the keystone of your school’s success and for empowering your librarian to do the job he or she was trained to do.
Let’s all work together to build a strong Library Media Center to help the students and bring up those test scores. At Your Service, Your Media Specialist
Resources Baughman, J. (2000, October). School libraries and MCAS Scores. Paper presented at s symposium sponsored by the Graduate School Of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, MA. Retrieved January 21, 2004, from http://artemis.simmons.edu/~baughman/mcas-school- libraries/Baughman%20Paper.pdf Hamilton-Pennell, Christine, Keith C. Lance, Marcia J. Rodney, and Eugene Hainer. Dick and jane go to the head of the class. School Library Journal 4/1/2000. retrieved Feb. 3, 2004 from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/index.asp?layout=art http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/index.asp?layout=art Lance, Keith Curry. How school librarians help leave no child behind: The impact of school library media programs on academic achievement of U.S. public school students. School Libraries in Canada 2002. Vol 22. Retrieved Jan. 23, 2004 from Academic Search Premier. GALILEO. Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney, and Christine Hamilton-Pennell. How school librarians help kids achieve standards. Castle Rock, CO:Hi Willow Research and Publishing, 2000. Lance, Keith Curry. Proof of the Power: Quality library media programs affect academic achievement. MultiMedia Schools. September 2001. Retrieved Jan. 23, 2004 from http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/sep01/lance.htmhttp://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/sep01/lance.htm