Kudos to Capstone who debuted their new school library advocacy video, School Libraries Matter: The Changing Role of the School Librarian, at the 2014 SLJ Summit a few days ago. If you watch and listen carefully from 2:10 to 2:28, you will catch fleeting references to two decades of school library impact studies.
There are two excellent sites to visit for links to most of these studies:
Mansfield University’s School Library Impact Studies Project website offers a booklet containing an impressive meta-analysis of findings across studies.
Library Research Service’s School Libraries / Impact Studies page offers annotated links to the studies as well as an infographic summarizing major findings of this body of research and videos in which they are discussed.
By the way, very recently, my RSL Research Group colleagues and I completed and delivered our latest state study–this time for South Carolina. The first phase of this study was based on a statewide survey of school libraries, and a second phase was based on surveys of school administrators, teachers, and librarians. The findings of this study are very exciting as this is the first time we have been able to link data about school libraries and librarians to detailed standard level test results for both English Language Arts and Writing. Test results on English Language Arts (ELA) standards cover Literary Text, Informational Text, and Research, while results on Writing standards cover Content and Organization.
This study was sponsored by the South Carolina Association of School Librarians. In early 2015, they will host a press conference to reveal the results of this study and to mark the release of its two reports and an executive summary. Watch here for an announcement of that forthcoming event. Multiple articles and presentations on this latest study are in the works.
We are also collaborating with Capstone on a 2015 followup video that will focus on newsworthy and useful findings from more recent school library impact studies that are often overlooked.