A research directed by Keith Curry Lance, reveals correlations between library-related factors (library budgets,technology presence, collection size, and staffing size) and higher student achievement,notably in test performance in reading. Also of special note, Stephen Krashen's rigorousscientific analysis reveals that student access to and extensive use of resources in printand information-rich environments is correlated with reading achievement. Vocabulary,grammar, comprehension, and motivation show powerful improvements when studentsare allowed to choose their reading material.
Some state's poor academic performance can be related to its print-poor environment and a perilous pattern of spending which ranks their school libraries at the bottom of the nation.
A comparison of the ratio of library media teachers to students ranks California school
libraries as last among the states. While some states mandate the presence of library
media professionals at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, some do not.
While some states staff their high schools with a library director plus one library media
teacher for each of the disciplines being taught at school, some do not.
When professional library staff collaborates with teachers, when students have access to
quality and diversity of reading and information resources, and when voluntary reading of self-selectedmaterials is encouraged, achievement is higher despite students' socioeconomic status. Where school libraries are strong, their students, staff, and community become proficient readers who can skillfully access, evaluate, and use information. Our students deserve no less.
Lance, K.C., Rodney, M.J., & Hamilton-Pennell, C. (2000). How school librarians help kids achieve standards: The second
Colorado study. San Jose, CA: Hi Willow Research and Publishing.
Lance, K.C., Rodney, M.J., & Hamilton-Pennell, C. (2000). Measuring up to standards: The impact of school library programs
and information literacy in Pennsylvania schools. Retrieved April 4, 2004, from http://www.statelibrary.state.pa.us/
Lance, K.C., & Rodney, M.J. (with P. Petersen & C. Sitter). (2002). Information empowered, The school librarian as an agent
of academic achievement in Alaska schools (Executive Summary). Juneau: Alaska State Library.