School Librarian State of the Union - School Library Journal March 2018
A national overview of the profession, by the numbers
School Librarian, Where Art Thou? by Keith Curry Lance
The profession is evolving, and there are fewer of us. What has been happening? Here’s what the numbers say.
A Perfect Storm Impacts School Librarian Numbers by Debra Kachel
Several circumstances created conditions contributing to U.S. school librarian cuts. Here’s a look at likely issues at three levels—national, state, and local/school district.
Charter Schools, Segregation, and School Library Access by Sarah Butler Jessen
Who loses? An educational policy analyst looks at the data on school libraries, the charter and choice movement, and questions about racial equity.
There’s Little National Data About School Librarians. What Happened? by Keith Curry Lance
The only two targeted efforts to collected detailed information about school libraries and librarians ended in 2012.
Indiana Library Federation is pleased to release the 2018 Status Report on Indiana School Libraries. This point-in-time report provides a snapshot of the staffing and features of Indiana's school libraries. The report highlights both alarming findings and promising practices, as well as five recommendations. Indiana Library Federation has a work plan that includes outreach, professional development, communications and advocacy.
Research Study Details Growth, Staffing, Resources Trends in School Library/Media Centers: District/Grade Level Data Presented for All 50 States (c2016)
"The role of school library/media centers in student achievement is well documented, and their positive impact on student success is undisputed. A new study by NEA confirms what has long been suspected: staff and resource disparities adversely impact minority ethnic status students and students living in poverty. Recent trends in library closings, staff reductions, and resource allocation policies clearly highlight the fact that education policymakers and administrators do not uniformly agree on either the immediate or the long-term value of library/media centers in public schools. Some continue to be unwilling to support school library/media centers in the wake of school budget cuts and rising costs elsewhere.
NEA conducted a detailed research study of public school library/media centers in all 50 United States and the District of Columbia. The study provides specific information at district, state, and national levels on trends in library/media center growth, staffing and staff qualifications, number and availability of resources (including new technologies), and accessibility and usage of facilities."
Tuck, K. D., Holmes, D. R., & National Education Association. (2016). Library/Media Centers in U.S. Public Schools: Growth, Staffing, and Resources. Executive Summary. In National Education Association. National Education Association. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED581060
Resources that provide research-based evidence highlighting the importance of school library media specialists ("school librarians") and school libraries. If you have additional sources that should be included here, please contact me via email at STetreault600@gmail.com or via Twitter: @DrTLovesBooks
Read the article summarizing this research at:
GAVIGAN, K., & LANCE, K. C. (2015). Everybody's Teacher. Teacher Librarian, 43(1), 8-11.
Produced March 16, 2015, this short video highlights the South Carolina study.
These videos were produced in 2011 by LRS so some information is now dated.
Keith Curry Lance, principal researcher at Library Research Service, Colorado, and author of many of the school library impact studies conducted since the late 1990s.
Ross Todd, Ph.D, is associate professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University and Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CiSSL).
From Stephen Krshen (email, 9/29/18):
"Here is a paper I did with colleagues a short time ago. National and international data (40 countries)! Replicated again and again. The presence of a library makes a strong contribution to reading test scores, again and again. As usual, poverty is the largest influence (strongly negative) but the library helps balance the effect of poverty!!! I think this is the most important publication of my career. Anyone who wants to eliminate the library or even cut library should have to consider these results."