Technical ReportPDF Available

Make the Connection: Quality School Library Media Programs Impact Academic Achievement in Iowa

Authors:
  • RSL Research Group
The full text of this report is available at:
http://www.iowaaeaonline.org/vnews/display.v/ART/492b02e0d63b8.
... An early study by Lance (1993) commonly referred to as "the Colorado Study" found indications that higher standardized test results occurred in schools where teachers worked with librarians. These results have also been found in additional studies across the United States leading to efforts to increase teacher and librarian collaboration as a means of improving student academic achievement (Lance, 1994(Lance, , 2001(Lance, , 2002Lance et al., 1993Lance et al., , 1999Lance et al., , 2000Lance et al., , 2001Lance et al., , 2005Lance & Russell, 2004;Rodney et al., 2002Rodney et al., , 2003. Considerable anecdotal evidence of the positive effect of teacher and librarian collaboration on improved student academic achievement also exists. ...
... This paper reports on results from a pilot study of a second teacher and librarian collaboration survey (TLC-II). The instrument was developed to examine teacher and librarian collaborative practices and to test the proposed TLC Model, which identified four facets of collaborative practices that emerged from a broad review of the literature (Callison, 1997;Lance, 1994Lance, , 2001Lance, , 2002Lance, et al., 1993Lance, et al., , 1999Lance, et al., , 2000Lance, et al., , 2001Lance, et al., , 2005Lance & Russell, 2004;Loertscher, 1982Loertscher, , 1988Loertscher, , 2000Rodney, et al., 2002Rodney, et al., , 2003. The facets (originally called "Models") reflected the range of practices discussed in the literature. ...
Article
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Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine the structure of a 32-item teacher and librarian collaboration survey (TLC-II). The survey consisted of two scales with 16 items in each scale, Frequency and Importance to Student Learning. Scores from teacher surveys (N=194) were examined using principal axis factoring and oblique rotation to identify underlying constructs. A four factor interpretable structure of teacher and librarian collaboration emerged providing support for a proposed model of teacher and librarian collaboration. Internal consistency was high for the overall scale and for each of the factors. The results of this study provide a basis for further refinement of the instrument in preparation for broad distribution among teachers and librarians.
... Given the increased focus on accountability by the federal government, and the increased pressure locally to streamline budgets, schools, districts, and states are looking for ways to examine the effectiveness of school programs to determine which to maintain and which to change or eliminate. As pointed out by Rodney, Lance, and Hamilton-Pennell (2002), the standards-based education reform movement, of which this legislation is a driving force, moves educators to focus on what students have learned (proficiencies or outcomes) rather than on what is taught (curriculum and pedagogy materials). This outcome-based emphasis has created a need to develop quantitative processes to determine the effectiveness of educational programs. ...
... Seminal studies in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas have examined the relationship between school library programs and student achievement by correlating survey data on factors within the school library program with increases in student achievement as measured by single year norm-referenced assessments (Baumbach, 2003;Baxter & Smalley, 2003;Lance et al., 1999;Lance et al., 2001Lance et al., 2000aLance et al., , 2000bRodney et al., 2002;Smith, 2001). Each study has shown that a statistically significant and positive relationship exists between the presence of school library programs and increased student achievement. ...
Article
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This California study examined the relationship between the presence of school libraries, as defined by credentialed staffing, and student achievement, as measured by both criterionreferenced and norm-referenced assessments in both English-language arts and mathematics. Using the California School Characteristics Index to compare 4,022 schools with similar demographics at Grades 4, 7, and 10, both positive and negative statistically significant relationships were found between the presence of a school library and student achievement at Grades 4 and 7. There were no statistically significant positive relationships found at Grade 10. These findings do not support previous studies that used different methods of comparing schools with similar demographics. Also unlike previous studies, the overall effect sizes of the positive relationships were small, the average being an increase in student achievement of 2%. Factors within the school library at Grades 4 and 7 were also examined, and both positive and negative statistically significant relationships to student achievement were found.
... The literature also shows that, along with having a certified librarian in the school library, actively teaching information literacy in the school library program has a positive correlation with academic achievement on standardized tests (Achterman, 2008;Baughman, 2000;Farmer, 2006;Klinger et al., 2009;Lance, Hamilton-Pennell, et al., 2000;Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2010;Lance, Rodney, et al., 2000b;Lance et al., 2001;Lance et al., 2007Lance et al., , 1990; Lance, Rodney, & Schwarz, 2010;Rodney et al., 2002Rodney et al., , 2003School Libraries & Student Achievement in Ontario, 2006;Smith & EGS Research & Consulting, 2001;Smith, 2006;Todd et al., 2010;Todd & Kuhlthau, 2005;Todd, 2005). Hiring individuals who are unprepared to effectively teach information literacy would put students at a distinct disadvantage, making proper hiring of school librarians an important undertaking. ...
... School librarians must collaborate with classroom teachers to ensure that students learn information literacy skills in context throughout the curriculum. In schools where teachers and school librarians are given time to collaborate, and such collaboration is a priority, students perform better on standardized tests (Achterman, 2008;Brodie, 2006;Chambers, 2001;Farmer, 2006Farmer, , 2009Lance et al., 2001;Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2010, 2000aLance, Rodney, et al., 2000b;Marcoux, 2007;Morin, 2008;Rodney et al., 2002Rodney et al., , 2003Smith & EGS Research & Consulting, 2001;Todd, 2008;Yukawa & Harada, 2009). More than just the opportunity for collaboration, teachers and school librarians need support from their administration. ...
Thesis
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This study examines the organizational structures and decision-making processes used by school districts to recruit and hire school librarians. For students to acquire the information and technology literacy education they need, school libraries must be staffed with qualified individuals who can fulfill the librarian’s role as leader, teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator. Principals are typically given decision rights for hiring staff, including school librarians. Research shows that principals have limited knowledge of the skills and abilities of the school librarian or the specific needs and functions of the library program. Research also indicates that those with specific knowledge of school library programs, namely school district library supervisors, are only consulted on recruiting and hiring about half the time. School districts entrust library supervisors with responsibilities such as professional development of school librarians only after they are hired. This study uses a theoretical lens from research on IT governance, which focuses on the use of knowledge-fit in applying decision rights in an organization. This framework is appropriate because of its incorporation of a specialist with a specific knowledge set in determining the placement of input and decision rights in the decision-making processes. The method used in this research was a multiple-case study design using five school districts as cases, varying by the involvement of the supervisors and other individuals in the hiring process. The data collected from each school district were interviews about the district’s recruiting and hiring practices with principals, an individual in HR, library supervisors, and recently hired school librarians. Data analysis was conducted through iterative coding from themes in the research questions, with continuous adjustments as new themes developed. Results from the study indicate that governance framework is applicable to evaluating the decision-making processes used in recruiting and hiring school librarians. However, a district’s use of governance did not consistently use knowledge-fit in the determination of input and decision rights. In the hiring process, governance was more likely to be based on placing decision rights at a certain level of the district hierarchy rather than the location of specific knowledge, most often resulting in site-based governance for decision rights at the school-building level. The governance of the recruiting process was most affected by the shortage or surplus of candidates available to the district to fill positions. Districts struggling with a shortage of candidates typically placed governance for the decision-making process on recruiting at the district level, giving the library supervisor more opportunity for input and collaboration with human resources. In districts that use site-based governance and that place all input and decision rights at the building level, some principals use their autonomy to eliminate the school library position in the allotment phase or hire librarians that, while certified through testing, do not have the same level of expertise as those who achieve certification through LIS programs. The principals in districts who use site-based governance for decision rights but call on the library supervisor for advisement stated how valuable they found the supervisor’s expertise in evaluating candidates for hire. In no district was a principal or school required to involve the library supervisor in the hiring of school librarians. With a better understanding of the tasks involved, the effect of district governance on decision-making, and the use of knowledge to assign input and decision rights, it is possible to look at how all of these factors affect the outcome in the quality of the hire. A next step is to look at the hiring process that school librarians went through and connect those with the measurable outcomes of hiring: school librarian success, retention, and attrition; the quality of school library program services, outreach, and involvement in a school; and the perceptions of the success of the school librarian and the library program as seen from students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other community stakeholders.
... 1. School library staff size ( Baxter & Smalley, 2003 ;Baumbach, 2002 ;Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2001 ;Smith, 2001 ;Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2000 ;Lance et al., 1999 ); 2. Presence of full-time, certifi ed school librarians ( Callison, 2004 ;Rodney, Lance, Hamilton-Pennell, & Center, 2002 ;Lance et al., 1999Lance et al., , 2000 ); 3. Frequency of library-centered instruction ( Lance et al., 1999 ) and collabora- tive instruction between school librarians and teachers ( Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2001, 2005Lance et al., 2000 ); 4. Size and currency of library collections ( Burgin, Bracy, & Brown, 2003 ;Smith, 2001 ;Lance et al., 2000 ); 5. Networked library access to licensed databases ( Lance, Rodney, & HamiltonPennell, 2002 ); 6. Flexible scheduling ( Lance et al., 2005 ;Rodney, Lance, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2003 ); and 7. School library budget size ( Baxter & Smalley, 2003 ;Lance et al., 2001 ). ...
... 1. School library staff size ( Baxter & Smalley, 2003 ;Baumbach, 2002 ;Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2001 ;Smith, 2001 ;Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2000 ;Lance et al., 1999 ); 2. Presence of full-time, certifi ed school librarians ( Callison, 2004 ;Rodney, Lance, Hamilton-Pennell, & Center, 2002 ;Lance et al., 1999Lance et al., , 2000 ); 3. Frequency of library-centered instruction ( Lance et al., 1999 ) and collabora- tive instruction between school librarians and teachers ( Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2001, 2005Lance et al., 2000 ); 4. Size and currency of library collections ( Burgin, Bracy, & Brown, 2003 ;Smith, 2001 ;Lance et al., 2000 ); 5. Networked library access to licensed databases ( Lance, Rodney, & HamiltonPennell, 2002 ); 6. Flexible scheduling ( Lance et al., 2005 ;Rodney, Lance, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2003 ); and 7. School library budget size ( Baxter & Smalley, 2003 ;Lance et al., 2001 ). ...
Chapter
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Reconceptualizing Libraries brings together cases and models developed by experts in the information and learning sciences to identify the potential for libraries to adapt and transform in the wake of new technologies for connected learning and discovery. Chapter authors explore the ways that the increased interest in the design research methods, digital media emphases, and technological infrastructure of the learning sciences can foster new collaborations and formats for education within physical library spaces. Models and case studies from a variety of library contexts demonstrate how library professionals can act as change agents and design partners and how patrons can engage with these evolving experiences. This is a timely and innovative volume for understanding how physical libraries can incorporate and thrive as educational resources using new developments in technology and in the learning sciences. https://www.routledge.com/Reconceptualizing-Libraries-Perspectives-from-the-Information-and-Learning/Lee-Phillips/p/book/9781138309562
... Those studies revealed that school librarians who exhibit leadership were more likely to plan and teach cooperatively with teachers, provide training for teachers, and take responsibility for technology integration . Findings also include a connection between leadership and collaboration, in that classroom teachers were more willing to collaborate with school librarians who had taken the initiative to become assertive, involved leaders in the school (Rodney, Lance, and Hamilton-Pennell 2002). Additionally, research indicates that in schools with -best-practice library media programs,‖ the school librarian -acts as an innovator, transformation agent, and a technology integration leader‖ (Smith 2006, 16). ...
Article
The highly technological environment of 21st-century schools has significantly redefined the role of school librarians by presenting the opportunity to assume leadership through technology integration. Despite the abundance of literature that has suggested the need for and the importance of school librarians to be a proactive leaders in technology integration, this role is one that has been ignored in the research arena and left undefined for school administrators, teachers, and the school librarians themselves, leading to uncertainty concerning how school librarians enact this role in practice. This research, based on distributed-leadership theory, investigates current practice of accomplished school librarians to identify what factors are enabling some to thrive as technology integration leaders and what factors are hindering others. This report of the results includes the initial identification and categorization of the enablers and barriers experienced by school librarians in enacting a leadership role in technology integration, a discussion of implications for the profession, and areas of future research
... Other noted findings include a connection between leadership and collaboration, in that classroom teachers are more willing to collaborate with the school librarian if she or he had taken the initiative to become an assertive, involved leader in the school ! 27! (Rodney, Lance, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2002) and that schools perform best where both principals and teachers perceived the school librarian as a school leader (Lance, Rodney, & Russell, 2007). ...
Article
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The present article describes a longitudinal, mixed methods, case study of Kansas, USA, school libraries. The overall aim in the study is to explore from an information science perspective the school librarian’s involvement in information literacy instruction, student learning and achievement and meaningful educational partnerships. Sources and types of evidence from this five-year investigation are made available on a website with the intent of contributing to a strong community of evidence-based practice.
Conference Paper
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Although the first scholarly study of how school libraries effect student achievement took place over five decades ago, educational researchers within the broader educational community are seldom aware of this research. This paper reveals that school library research related to academic achievement over the past two decades has been published largely within the library and information science (LIS) arena, and reveals a need within the school library and educational research community for more systematic, rigorous and collaborative research on factors related to school libraries and their effect on student achievement. Although a literature review identified 293 publications that discussed school libraries and the effect on student achievement, only 62 of those publications provided empirical data or analysis of impact. This paper provides a synthesis of the designs and effects of these 61 empirical school library studies, identifies limitations and gaps, and recommends alternative approaches to address previous limitations in research design and analysis.
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