What does the research tell us about
schools with fully funded libraries and certified librarians?
Research shows that schools with fully funded libraries and full-time certified librarians teaching students to love books, love reading, understand the research process, and consider critically all the information that they read have higher test scores. This research model has been replicated in 20 + states over 20+ years, with the same results every time. (Lance, Keith Curry and Debra E. Kachel. “Why School Librarians Matter: What Years of Research Tell Us.” Phi Delta Kappan, Apr. 2018.) Students in schools with effective librarians and strong collections do better on state mandated tests; they also learn better in general. But graduate courses in school administration have not reminded prospective administrators that the school librarian can and should be their best friend and ally on campus. Literacy coaches and tutors teach specific skills to specific students; the librarians teaches every student in the school – and supports every teacher. The bang for the salary buck is much larger. Money spent to build a library collection that effects enthusiasm and skills in every classroom has more impact than small pots of money for individual classroom libraries scattered across the campus and haphazardly managed. The library can be the heart of the school – an effective school librarian will make sure that it is.
Too many administrators remember the stereotypic librarian from their own K-12 years – those days are gone! Check out this article: “Not Your Grandfather’s Library!” (Long, Cindy. “Not Your Grandfather’s School Library.” NEA Today, National Education Association, 6 Dec. 2017.)