April 8, 2013

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

"Imagine trying to teach kids how to swim in an empty pool."

I´d like to share an overview of the latest study "A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting Students achievements" by Debra E. Kachel and Keith Curry Lance published in The School Library Journal March 2013 issue.

The authors say: "Simply put, students suffer when they don’t have adequate resources—and, in particular, we've found that student achievement suffers when schools lack libraries that are staffed by full-time librarians."

Key findings:
Quality school library programs significantly impact the most vulnerable students.
Consistently, reading and writing scores are better for students who have a full-time certified librarian than those who don’t. Students who are economically disadvantaged, black, Hispanic, and have IEPs (i.e., students with disabilities) benefit proportionally more than students generally. These findings suggest that staffing libraries with certified librarians can help close achievement gaps.
Writing scores are more positively impacted than reading scores.
Interestingly, the impact of school library programs was greater proportionally on writing than reading scores. Students with access to well-resourced libraries are two to five times more likely to score “Advanced” in writing than students without such libraries.
The role of the school library program and academic standards. 
Consistently, students are less likely to score “Below Basic” on reading and writing in schools in which administrators, teachers, and librarians assess as “excellent” the library program’s teaching of inquiry-based learning.
Staffing remains the key factor. 
With a full-time librarian, students are more likely to score “Advanced” and less likely to score “Below Basic” on reading and writing tests.

This study adds to the evidence that all K–12 students need and deserve quality school library programs with full-time certified staff. Students are more likely to succeed when they have library programs that are well staffed, well funded, technologically well equipped, well stocked, and more accessible. And, the neediest learners may benefit the most from trained librarians and quality library programs.
ISE is on the right track! We believe in and follow IB inquiry based learning in all of our classes. I am proud that our library and its program support our students in learning, improving and succeeding in their studies. Conscious development of the library - its collection and program in collaboration with administration, teachers and students have given us a bright, modern facility the core of ISE inquiry based learning environment.

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