SC Study Shows Link Between School Librarians and Higher Test Scores
Gavigan, K. & Lance, K.C. (2016). SC study shows link between school librarians and higher test
scores. School Library Journal. http://www.slj.com/2016/03/literacy/sc-study-shows-link-between-school-librarians-and-higher-test-scores/#_
This article discusses the importance of school librarians and libraries on student success on tests. South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) worked with RSL Research Group, in 2013, on a study showing the importance of school librarians and library programs. This study documented how school libraries have added to the success of students on test for English language arts (ELA) and writing standards. Data was taken from results of the South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) for elementary and middle schools, and South Carolina High School Assessment Program (HSAP). Schools, with full-time librarians and at least one assistant, either full-time or part-time, had students that showed more strength and less weakness on PASS writing standards. Higher spending on libraries showed significant strengths on student test achievements. This study showed that collaboration between librarians and teachers help students develop “information literacy skills.” The schools that excelled had 20 or more hours of librarian instruction. Study, also, found that this successful schools had an overall checkout of 20,00 items or 36 checkouts per student. Other areas of data were on collection size for both books and ebooks, access to computers, and frequency of library visits. School administrators found that library visits that were based on needs as compared to fixed times were more effective on students’ success. High achieving schools had 4 or more library visit per week in elementary and middle schools, and 15 or more visits in high schools. Administrators valued the library policies and practices and saw school librarians as having a leadership role at their schools.
I found this article up-lifting in that it showed how important school libraries and librarians are to the success of any type of school, elementary, middle, or high school. Many districts and states feel that a school library can be run by anyone on the staff. However, this article showed that professional librarians are essential to a high achieving school. In the school district I work at, library assistant have been cut back due to the budget and one librarian could be working at several schools within one week. In fact, I work at 3 different schools over 3 1/2 days of a week. This article showed how important a library and an assistant is to each school. Having a librarian onsite all week, working along side the teachers, gives students the structure and support they need to meet today’s 21st Century Skills. This article reinforces the concepts Dr. Loertscher teaches of coteaching and collaborating between librarians and teachers. The more we work together the more our students will succeed. I appreciated the administrators that felt their librarians were the center of their schools success. This article is a great resource in support of school libraries and librarians for successful schools, teachers, and students.