The Data to Support School Libraries is Compelling and Extensive

Solomon, Samantha

Lance, K. and Kachel, D. (2018). Why school librarians matter: What years of research tell us – [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Sep. 2018].

Summary: The article details data about the effect and effectiveness of school libraries collected since 1992, including data from more than 34 statewide studies where researchers have also controlled for school and community socioeconomic factors. In general, the data has consistently shown ” positive correlations between high-quality library programs and student achievement (Gretes, 2013; Scholastic, 2016)” and these gains are enhanced when all school stakeholders partner closely with the library.

Some of the data highlights include:

  • In a Pennsylvania study (Lance & Schwarz, 2012), nearly 8% more students scored Advanced on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment in reading in schools with a full-time, certified librarian than in schools without.
  • Students with full-time librarians were almost three times more likely than those without librarians to have Advanced writing scores.
  • The Pennsylvania study (Lance & Schwarz, 2012) found that while 1.6% fewer students tested at the Below Basic level in reading when they had full-time librarians than those who did not, the difference was even greater for Black students (5.5%), Latino students (5.2%), and students with disabilities (4.6%).
  • Graduation rates and test scores in reading and math were significantly higher in schools with high-quality libraries and certified librarians, even after controlling for school size and poverty.

Evaluation: I was so attracted to this article because in my district, school libraries and school library staff are CONSTANTLY on the chopping block. Last year, organizing and advocating for students right to access school libraries and qualified staff basically felt like a second full time job, and we still on barely snuck through. The data presented in this article is clear and useful for other TLs who might find themselves advocating for their jobs.

Public school libraries Closing and negative affect

Shibrie Wilson


Schou, S. (2014, February 28). How cuts and closures of elementary school libraries are hurting our kids. Retrieved from Takepart website:

Summary: School libraries are constantly closing surprising in major cities such as Philadelphia, New York, L.A., and other places.  Kyle Ashberry library aide to two schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. His position receives special funding from government to increase performance in minority communities. School libraries in L.A.  district has closed their doors to many school libraries in which has eliminated qualified librarians and aids. Unfortunately, there is no statistical data on public school affected by library staff cuts and closures. Many U.S. schools lacks qualified candidates in public school libraries. Administrators and local officials have adopted conception in which they believe closing libraries will save money yet this is false. There is a distinct correlation between literacy rates affect to poverty and crime. Many low income students desperately need libraries in school s because they are unable to access public libraries in their communities. For many students just as adults books are a way in which one can escape reality and focus on different things. Issue as is many school districts is that school library aides are being forced to compete against school nurses, and nurses are preferred over library aides.  

Review: This article is something that I hold close to my heart. Considering district in which I work for recently voted to layoff positions in middle and elementary libraries. Out of 12 sites and 12 employees district has decided to layoff 9 people and allot 2hours per day to 3 individuals covering 12 sites. This is not infallible. From this article and issue occurring personally I have developed a strong advocacy for school libraries and importance of having access in schools. I think it is important to have a qualified librarian and aide to assists professional. There is so much more to librarianship that many persons do not understand therefore do not value.