Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Importance of School Libraries

from our friends at the Education Law Center:

Having access to a full-time, certified school librarian means better outcomes for Pennsylvania’s public school students, according to new research from the Colorado-based RSL Research Group.

The researchers examined the 2010-11 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in Reading and Writing for students in grades three through 11, and tracked outcomes for students based on five school library factors: staffing, collections, digital resources and technology infrastructure, library access, and funding.

Overall, the greatest impact on student test scores was seen from having a full-time, certified librarian.

• 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.
• For several student groups that tend to experience achievement gaps—economically disadvantaged, Hispanic, Black, and those with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs)—Reading and Writing results are markedly better when those students attend a school with a librarian and library support staff, according to the research. In fact, they benefit more proportionally than the general student population.
Attend the research briefing on Oct. 25: http://www.tfaforms.com/258848
View more information on the research project: http://paschoollibraryproject.org/home

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