The Pennsylvania School Library Study, the first comprehensive report on the status of school library services in the state, was in the headlines last week in a press release by the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania. It’s notable that the school library study is being promoted by this organization, which advocates for the public education of “poor children, children of color, children with disabilities, English language learners, children in foster homes and institutions, and others.”
The press release highlights the role of a full-time, certified school librarian in achievement for all students:
Students who have access to a full-time, certified librarian scored higher on the PSSA Reading Test than those students who do not have such access. This finding is true for all students, regardless of their socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and/or disability status.
Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Legislative Committee Co-Chair Debra Kachel is quoted in the release, too, noting that data about student writing scores in correlation with having a school librarian reflects findings not previously seen in school library impact studies.
At the conclusion of the study in late summer 2012, school library advocates, including school librarians, a school superintendent, students, representatives of the state PTA and state school library associations, and university faculty testified in a House Education Committee Hearing on the status and value of school libraries, including the results and recommendations of the Pennsylvania School Library study.
This study was conducted as part of the charge of PA House Resolution 987, which also requested that recommendations be made for improving school library programs for all students, and that public roundtables be held to solicit feedback from the public on the School Library Study. Please see this PA Department of Education site for more information on the PA House Resolution and School Library Study.
Hat tip to Stephen Krashen for sharing this press release with the AASL Forum.