Creating 21st Century Learners – October 2012 (pdf)

See on Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

This booklet is one of a series presenting research findings from the revcent Pennsylvania study on the imapct of school libraries on student learning.


Using data collected in the Spring of 2011 for the Pennsylvania State Board of Education Study of the state’s public school libraries and examining standardized Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Reading and Writing test scores for the same year, a team of researchers studied five components of school library infrastructure: Staffing, Collections, Digital Resources and Technology Infrastructure, Library Access, and Funding.

According to the research findings, students who have access to a quality school library program developed with these building blocks have an academic advantage over students who did not have such access. These differences are not explained away by the socio-economic, racial/ethnic, or disability status of the students. Here are a few highlights:

* Investments in library staff benefit all students. Full-time, certified librarians are associated with better PSSA Reading and Writing scores.
* 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 with library support staff. In fact, they benefit more proportionally than the general school population.
* The impact of quality school library programs with these components is even stronger on Writing scores than Reading scores.
* All students—both high-achievers and low-achievers—benefit and schools that leverage school library programs can narrow achievement gaps among their students.
* Generally, the combined impact of these components—staffing, resources, technology, access to the library, and funding—has a steady and consistent effect on student learning and achievement regardless of demographic and economic differences among students.

For more information see the project website

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