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School Libraries and Student Achievement
A Massachusetts study conducted in 2000 by Professor James Baughman of Simmons College has shown a direct correlation between the quality of school library programs and student achievement as measured by the state's MCAS tests. These findings parallel those conducted in a number other states: Alaska (1999), Colorado (2000), Florida (2002), Iowa (2002), Michigan (2003), Minnesota (2003), Missouri (2003), New Mexico (2002),North Carolina (2003), Ohio (2004), Oregon (2001), Pennsylvania (2000) and Texas (2001).


The Simmons Study found that the highest achieving students attend schools with good libraries. The study also found that:

• At each grade level school library programs increase MCAS scores.
       
• At each grade level, students score higher on MCAS tests when there is a higher per pupil book count.
       
• At each grade level, student use of the library produces higher MCAS scores.
• At the elementary and middle school levels, students score higher on the MCAS when there is a library instruction program.
       
• At the elementary and high school levels, students who are served by a full time librarian have higher MCAS scores than those in schools without a full time librarian.
       
• At the elementary and high school levels, nonprofessional library staff assistance makes a positive difference in average MCAS scores.

The full text of this study can be obtained at the Simmons College  MCAS and School Libraries web page.




References



Baxter, Susan J. and Ann Walker Smalley. (2003). Check It Out! The Results of the School Library Media Program Census, Final Report. St. Paul, MN: Metronet.

Burgin, Robert and Pauletta Brown Bracy. (2003). An Essential Connection: How Quality School Library Media Programs Improve Student Achievement in North Carolina. Spring, TX: Hi Willow Research and Publishing.

Lance, Keith Curry, et. al. (1999). Information Empowered: The School Librarian as an Agent of Academic Achievement in Alaska Schools. Anchorage: AK: Alaska State Library.

Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney, and Christine Hamilton- Pennell. (2000). How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards: The Second Colorado Study. Spring, TX: Hi Willow Research and Publishing.

Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney, and Christine Hamilton- Pennell. (2000). Measuring Up to Standards: The Impact of School Library Programs & Information Literacy in Pennsylvania Schools. Greensburg, PA: Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries.

Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney, and Christine Hamilton- Pennell. (2001). Good Schools Have School Librarians: Oregon School Librarians Collaborate to Improve Academic Achievement. Terrebonne, OR: Oregon Educational Media Association.

Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney, and Christine Hamilton-Pennell. (2002). How School Librarians Improve Outcomes for Children: The New Mexico Study. Sante Fe, NM: New Mexico State Library.

Quantitative Resources, LLC. (2003). Show-Me Connection: How School Library Media Center Services Impact Student Achievement, 2002–2003. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri State Library.

Rodney, Marcia J., Keith Curry Lance, and Christine Hamilton- Pennell. (2002). Make the Connection: Quality School Library Media Programs Impact Academic Achievement in Iowa. Bettendorf, IA: Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency.

Rodney, Marcia J., Keith Curry Lance, and Christine Hamilton-Pennell. (2003). The Impact of Michigan School Librarians on Academic Achievement: Kids Who Have Libraries Succeed. Lansing, MI: Library of Michigan.

Todd, Ross J., Carolyn Kuhlthau, and OELMA. (2004). Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries: The Ohio Research Study. Columbus, OH: Ohio Educational Library Media Association.

Smith, Ester G. (2001). Texas School Libraries: Standards, Resources, Services, and Students’ Performance. Austin, TX: Texas State Library and Archives Commission.