In 2011, school libraries throughout Pennsylvania responded to a survey commissioned by the state legislature. The survey asked questions about school library staffing, staff activities, collections, technology, hours and access, visits, expenditures, and more. As the first part of Pennsylvania’s IMLS-funded National Leadership Grant research project, Assessing the Infrastructure Needs of 21st Century School Library Programs, these data on the state’s school library programs were analyzed in relation to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s PSSA reading and writing test scores.
The results of this analysis are being released over the next several weeks in a series of PowerPoint presentations. First up are findings about the relationship between school library staffing and test scores. Consistently with previous school library impact studies, this analysis found that test scores tend to be significantly higher for schools that have full-time certified school librarians as well as for those that have such a librarian with support staff.
This first PowerPoint presentation is titled School Library Staffing & PSSA Reading & Writing Scores. Please use it and quote from it freely and link to it from your website and social networks. Help us spread the word about this latest quantitative evidence of the measurable impact of school libraries.
In a few months, watch for reports on the second phase of this study based on qualitative surveys of administrators, teachers, and librarians. These surveys are still underway and will close at the end of this month. If you work in a Pennsylvania school library, it is not too late to participate.
For the latest news about this project, please be a regular visitor to its website, PA School Library Project. New content is added on a weekly, if not daily, basis.