Quotations about how Library Media Centers
& Specialists Impact Student Achievement
“What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.” ~ Harold Howe, former U.S. Commissioner of Education
“Students who score higher on “tests tend to come from schools which have more library resource staff and more books, periodicals and videos, and where the instructional role of the teacher-librarian and involvement in cooperative program planning and teaching is more prominent.” ~ Keith Curry Lance, et. al. The Impact of School Library Media Centers on Academic Achievement
“There is a significant body of research that demonstrates that a qualified teacher-librarian (media specialist) has a positive impact on school culture and student achievement. Indeed, several studies have been established that teachers collaborate more in schools with a teacher-librarian and students read more, enjoy reading more, write better, access and use information more effectively and excel in academic content areas.” ~ Ken Haycock, 1996. “Competencies for Teacher-Librarians in the 21st Century,” Teacher-Librarian, February, 1996.
“What do students need in order to succeed? The latest research insists they need strong library programs. There is one clear and consistent finding that is supported by our research: a school library media program with a full-time library media specialist, support staff, and a strong computer network leads to higher student achievement.” ~ Hamilton-Pennell, Christine, et.al. “Dick and Jane Go to the Head of the Class,” School Library Journal, April, 2000, p.44-47.
“Reading is both a skill and a behavior. It is a combination of knowing how to read and the desire to do so. Classroom teachers do not necessarily promote reading for pleasure. School librarians are different. Their purpose is to encourage children to select their own reading material. And school library collections not only complement the curriculum but are also designed to support most schools’ wider mission: to encourage lifelong learning and reading. In order to become lifelong readers, children must have access to books–and lots of them. They must also have some help in selecting them. That requires that librarians help youngsters find materials that speak to them rather than those that might improve them. This ability to respond to varied requests is complicated and abstract. It requires knowledge and skill. And it’s why librarians who do so are called professionals.” ~ Betty Carter. “Formula for Failure,” School Library Journal, July, 2000, pp. 34-37.
“A school-wide commitment to resource-based learning and literature-based reading programs creates a need for collaboration. Teachers in such programs see the need for their students to use the teacher-librarian’s expertise in literature and information literacy. When teacher-librarians and classroom teachers collaborate and share common goals, planning and instruction to provide authentic learning experiences for students, the opportunities for students to become readers who are able to access, evaluate and apply what they read will be greatly enhanced.” ~ Kay Bishop and Nancy Larimer. “Literacy through Collaboration,” Teacher-Librarian, October, 1999, pp. 15-17.
“The size of the library media program, as indicated by the size of its staff and collection, is the best school predictor of academic achievement. Library media center expenditures predict the size the lmc’s staff and collection and, in turn, academic achievement. The instructional role of the lms shapes the collection and, in turn, academic achievement.” ~ Lance, Keith Curry. “The Impact of School Library Media Centers on Academic Achievement: Colorado Study,” School Library Media Quarterly, Spring, 1994.
Two more recent studies in Alaska and Pennsylvania also show a rise in test scores tied to school library resources and staffing. ~ Kathleen Manzo, “Study Shows Rise in Test Scores Tied to School Library Resources,” Education Week, March 22, 2000.
“In schools with good resource centers and the services of a teacher-librarian, students perform significantly better on tests for basic research skills. The evidence is similarly clear that more reading is done where there is a school library and a teacher-librarian.” Ken Haycock, 1996. “Competencies for Teacher-Librarians in the 21st Century,” Teacher-Librarian, February, 1996.
“The media program provides a bridge between formal, school-based learning and independent, lifelong learning,” ~ Barbara Barnard Stein and Celia Burger. “A Community for Learning,” Teacher Librarian, October, 1999, pp. 32-35.
“Voluntary reading is the best predictor of reading comprehension, vocabulary growth, spelling, ability, grammatical usage and writing style. Access to school library media centers results in more voluntary reading by students. Having a school library media specialist makes a difference in the amount of voluntary reading done.” ~ Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading, 1993.
“When flexibly scheduled, the teacher-librarian and resource center can have a significant effect on student achievement in information handling and use and in content areas. Indeed, the most significant changes in library programs occur when the teacher-librarian moves to flexible scheduling and curriculum-integrated instruction; positive cooperative relations with teachers, administrators, and students contribute to this success.” ~ Bishop, 1992. “The Roles of the School Library Media Specialist in an Elementary School using a Literature-Based Reading Program: an Ethnographic Case Study.” (doctoral dissertation, Florida State Univ.)
“While art, music, and p.e. are discipline areas, the school library media program is a resource and service agency and the school library media specialist is a resource and service person. ~ Barron/Bergen. Phi Delta Kappan, 7, 1992, p. 524.
“The value of a classroom teacher in partnership with a library media specialist can be found in the library media specialist’s ability to link a variety of resources to all types of units, to contribute a strength in instructional design, and to provide instruction in essential information skills for successful completion of a unit. Library media specialists have an overall knowledge of the school’s curriculum map and link together related units. They also provide management skills for extended multiple-content area units. Lack of inclusion of library media specialists in unit development creates a loss of expertise that could substantially contribute to student learning growth and the value of the unit.” ~ Julie I. Tallman. “Curriculum Consultation: Strengthening Activity through Multiple-Content Area Units.” School Library Media Quarterly, Fall, 1995, p. 27-33.
“’Teaching students how to find information rather than memorize information’ was ranked highest in importance in this year’s Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Issues Survey.” Teaching students how to find information has always been the goal of the school library media specialist. ~ Education Update, 42, January, 2000.
“School library media specialists play an important role in improving student achievement through the teaching of information literacy, the promotion of reading literacy and the continued integration of technology. No where else in a school system does one see these three important factors come together. In order to be successful in these three areas, a student needs adequate resources, something school libraries have not had through national, state or local funds recently.” ~ Gayle Geitgey, OELMA President, March 2001.
Based on resources submitted by: Suellyn Stotts & Deb Logan