Research from a variety of sources shows the significant impact school libraries have on student learning and achievement. Several common, contributing factors have been identified, including:
- flexible scheduling
- effective collaboration between library staff and teachers
- appropriate library staffing levels and opening hours
- an up-to-date library collection
- access via library ICT to online resources
- being well funded
- being a well used library.
Key activities contributing to effective library programmes include:
- classes and/or smaller groups of students visiting the library on a flexibly scheduled basis (ie as dictated by curricular and instructional needs rather than a fixed schedule)
- teachers accompanying classes to the library
- teachers inviting librarians to their classrooms
- librarians and teachers collaborating on instruction
- librarians helping teachers learn new information skills
- principals appointing librarians to key school committees
- principals and librarians meeting regularly
- principals addressing collaboration with the librarian in teacher evaluations.
The research focuses on learning outcomes, using an evidence-based practice approach. Visit our Student achievement - the research page to find out more about an outcomes-focused approach, the difference it can make and how you can generate data to create evidence in your school.
See also the Inquiry section of this website for further information on how your school library can support Inquiry.
- Barrett, Lynn. (2010): Effective school libraries: evidence of impact on student achievement. School Librarian 58,3 (2010), pp.136-139.
- Geitgey G, Tepe, A. Can You Find the Evidence-Based Practice in Your School Library? Library Media Connection [serial online]. March 2007; 25(6): 10. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 25, 2010.
- Gildersleeves, Lucy. (2012): Do school libraries make a difference? Some considerations on investigating school library impact in the United Kingdom. Library Management 33,6/7 (2012), pp.403 – 413.
- Kaplan, Allison G (2010). School library impact studies and school library media programs in the United States. School Libraries Worldwide 16,2 (2010), pp.55-63
- Latchel, Debra E., & Lance, Keith Curry (2013). Latest Study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement. School Library Journal
- Lance, Keith Curry, Hofschire, Linda (2012). School librarian staffing linked with gains in student achievement, 2005 - 2011. Teacher Librarian. Oct. 2012, Vol. 39 Issue 6, p.15-19. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 2, 2013
- Logan, Debra Kay. (2008). Putting students first: we must change the focus of our messages from school libraries to student learning and achievement. American Libraries 39.1-2: 56+. EPIC General OneFile. Web. Accessed 14 Apr. 2010.
- Martineau P. (February 2010) SCHOOL LIBRARIANS: Vital Educational Leaders. Education Digest [serial online]. 75(6): 4. Available from: EPIC MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 14, 2010.
- Parr, Katherine (2012): The impact of school libraries on student achievement and success. Mississippi Libraries 75,1 (2012) (PDF), pp.18-22.
- Scott, Kristen J., and Lee A. Plourde. (2007) School libraries and increased student achievement: what's the big idea? Education 127.3 (2007): 419+. EPIC General OneFile. Web. Accessed 14 Apr. 2010.
- Todd Ross J. (2010) The evidence-based manifesto. School Library Journal [serial online]. April 2008; 54(4): 38. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 25, 2010.
- Todd, Ross J. (2010). School librarianship and evidence based practice: progress, perspectives, and challenges. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 4,2 (2009),pp. 78-96