Resources for School Library Impact Studies

In a previous blog post about the Pennsylvania School Library Study, I included a link to the School Library Impact Study Project, a 2011 project of school library students in Debra Kachel’s School Library Advocacy course at Mansfield University (Mansfield, PA).  From the project introduction, this compilation and synthesis of school library research is described as follows:

“Begun in the early 1990′s by Dr. Keith Curry Lance and his associates at the Colorado Department of Education and the University of Denver, these reports primarily correlated standardized language arts test scores of students to components of school library programs. To date, 22 states and one Canadian province have provided data for such research conducted by Lance and a variety of other researchers.

Students summarized almost all of the major research reports, indexed them by school library program component in a chart, and selected significant findings from each. This is the result of their work.”

The project website includes links to research summaries, citations, and highly useful .pdf booklet to bookmark, print, highlight, remember, and use when looking for data to support the importance of school libraries in student learning and achievement.  The project identifies the areas below as components of school library programs found to have a positive association with student achievement, and indexes these components with states where studies demonstrated this correlation.

-       staffing

-       collaboration

-       professional development

-       instruction

-       collections and resources

-       usage

-       technology

-       scheduling

-       funding and budget

I spoke with Deb Kachel this week to inquire about the project and any updates, and she said that she is currently working on an update to the booklet for release in early 2013, with new information to include recent school library studies in PA, NJ, and NY. She also offered the LibGuide for her school library advocacy course as a resource; the LibGuide includes videos, stories, interviews, and articles about school library advocacy.  Look for more from Deb on school library advocacy in an upcoming post!

Very big hat tip (perhaps a bow is more appropriate!) to Deb Kachel for sharing these resources and for her important work in school library advocacy.

Image: Crimson creek by Brigette meh on Flickr.  Used with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

–Rebecca Morris

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