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A Certified Librarian: Why do we need one?

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Beth Staff

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of A Certified Librarian: Why do we need one?

Why do we need one? A Certified Librarian: No, this is not true. Certified elementary
librarians do more than just read stories and
shelve books. They are teachers. Anyone can run an elementary
library, right? What does the certified librarian teach the staff, administrators, and the community? Mansfield University's School Library Research Summarized Project In the Spring of 2011, Mansfield University graduate students in LSC 5530, Deb Kachel's School Library Advocacy class, took the findings from the landmark body of studies known as the "school library impact studies", and summarized them into one concise report.

These studies, managed by Dr. Keith Curry Lance and his associates at the Colorado Department of Education and the University of Denver, began in the 1990's and included data from 22 states and one Canadian province. Data continues to be collected every year.

Professor Kachel's students summarized almost all of the major research reports, indexed them by school library program component in a chart, and selected significant findings from each. This is the result of their work. (Mansfield)

What follows are the highlights of these findings. Staffing & Collaboration Elementary students in schools with certified librarians are more likely to have higher ELA achievement scores
Higher library staffing levels (including certified librarians) are linked to higher reading performance for elementary, middle, and high school students (13%, 8%, and 7% respectively)
Library staffing levels of both professionals & paraprofessionals are significantly related to an increase in services, which correlates to higher STAR test scores
With the augmentation of a certified library staff, test scores show marked improvement due to collaboration between librarians and educators Where principals & administrators rated the teaching of Information & Communication Technologies as excellent, students at all 3 building levels were consistently more likely to earn high scores on reading and language arts tests
Certified school librarians help students acquire unique skills not taught in the classroom and information & technology skills essential for students in the 21st century
The flexibility of an open timetable allowed for collaborative teaching with depth. This was attributed to the principal's support in scheduling and through extra funding for a full-time certified librarian Who do certified librarians teach? how to locate print and non-print resources for their students/children, and for themselves, to use in their research on any subject
how to access information on the library's OPAC system and from the subscription online databases
how to use resources without violating copyright law What does the certified librarian teach students? how to make connections in read-aloud stories to their grade level's curriculum in a variety of subjects
how to access appropriate information in print and non-print formats (books, online databases, etc.)
how to discern good information from bad information
how to use resources with respect to copyright laws
how to cite materials in their research
how to create and exhibit innovative presentations Instruction, Scheduling & Access Technology, Collection & Budget Elementary students are likely to be disadvantaged if they do not have the access to develop a range of technology competencies that can be facilitated by certified school librarians
The libraries in schools with the highest TAAS performance have more resources and their librarians spend more time on collaborative instruction that integrates curriculum
A strong positive relationship between budget and test scores was found at the high school level in relation to Language Arts & History scores students
the community Works Cited Kachel, Debra E. School Library Research Summarized:
A Graduate Class Project. Mansfield, PA: Mansfield
University, 2011. Print.

Lance, K., & Hofschire, L. (2012). Change in School
Librarian Staffing Linked with Change in CSAP
Reading Performance, 2005 to 2011. Denver, CO:
Colorado State Library, Library Research Service.

Scholastic. School Libraries Work! 2nd ed. Danbury:
Scholastic Library, 2008. Print.
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