"Latest Study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement."

By Debra E. Kachel and Keith Curry Lance
This latest research has shown that student achievement suffers when students do not have access to a library with a full-time librarian. Great charts and information in a readable format on the effects of inadequate staffing.

"Something to Shout About: New research shows that more librarians means higher reading scores"

The cover story in the September 2011 issue of School Library Journal reported on a new ground-breaking study by Keith Curry Lance. That article, co-authored with Linda Hofschire, may be accessed at: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/home/891612-312/something_to_shout_about_new.html.csp

Using federal data on the 50 states and DC, they examined the relationship between pre- and post-recession change in school library staffing and change in fourth grade reading scores. Not only was the fate of reading scores tied to that of school library staffing, but the relationship remained when change in overall school staffing was taken into account.

This article documents the fact that inferior gains or losses on reading scores were the prevailing fate of states in which schools cut librarian positions.

"Change in School Librarian Staffing Linked with Change in CSAP Reading Performance, 2005 to 2011"

A fourth Colorado school library impact study, published as one of the Library Research Service’s A Closer Look series, has taken this type of analysis down to the school building level employing more precise data on different types of school library staff (endorsed librarians, non-endorsed librarians, non-endorsed library assistants not supervised by a librarian) and more inclusive data on reading scores (including grades 3 through 10). This study, also co-authored with Linda Hofschire, may be accessed at: http://www.lrs.org/documents/closer_look/CO4_2012_Closer_Look_Report.pdf

"More State Studies Demonstrate the Benefits of School Libraries and Library Media Specialists on Student Academic Achievement" (Mulitple studies)

A substantial body of research since 1990 shows a positive relationship between school libraries and student achievement. The research studies show that school libraries can have a positive impact on student achievement whether such achievement is measured in terms of reading scores, literacy, or overall academic success. A school library program that is adequately staffed, resourced, and funded can lead to higher achievement regardless of the socio-economic or educational levels of the community (from School Libraries Work! Scholastic, p.10, 2008).

Quality School Libraries Relate to Reading Achievement (Multiple studies)

Among the hundreds of studies on reading discussed in Stephen Krashen’s The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research (2nd ed., Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited, 2004), are those concerned with the positive effect of school libraries and library staffing and resources on children’s reading. He maintains that the research, beginning in the late 1930s, shows that “Better school libraries result in more reading.” (Krashen, p. 58) and that “Students take more books out of school libraries that have more books and stay open longer.” A recent study demonstrates that high school students did more reading when their teachers took them to the school library on planned library visit more often.” Similar findings exist for younger students. (Krashen, p. 59).

Further, the quality of library books and staffing is related to reading achievement:

“A solid confirmation of the positive effect of libraries was a remarkable study by Lance, Welborn, and Hamilton-Pennell (1993), who found that money invested in school libraries in Colorado was associated with higher reading scores, even when factors such as poverty and availability of computers were controlled. Lance and his colleagues have replicated these results in Colorado and in several other states, showing that library quality, defined in terms of the number of books in the library and the presence and quality of library staffing, is consistently related to reading achievement.” (Krashen, p. 66).

Idaho School Library Impact Study - 2009: How Idaho Librarians, Teachers, and Administrators Collaborate for Student Success (Idaho Commission For Libraries, 2010)

"This commissioned report identifies how Idaho school libraries contribute to student success. The survey design included both qualitative and quantitative measures. The bottom line result is that students are more likely to succeed/ excel/ thrive when librarians play active and collaborative roles with other teachers and with administrators... Best practices for library programs that contribute to student achievement are included." Read the report at Idaho School Library Impact Study.

The School Library Data Project
"A large body of research shows that a quality school library with good information resources and staffed by a qualified library media specialist can raise student achievement. The school library data project is an effort to collect quantifiable information about school library resources and use across state lines. Data collected includes circulation, student visits, collection holdings, staffing, policies and financial resources".