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OLD HOMEPAGE: Making a Difference

Information and Resources for School Librarians


Research Studies Compiled by AASL

Multiple research studies have shown a positive relationship between school librarians and student achievement.  The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has compiled the studies into one easy to access location:

Causality:  School Librarians and Student Success:  American Association of School Librarians National Research Forum, White Paper, December 2014.  This white paper reports on this unprecedented convening of the nation’s leading school library and educational researchers and furthers the development of a national agenda to demonstrate the positive influences of effective state-certified school librarians and quality school library programs and learning spaces on student learning. The CLASS Forum reflects the diversity of voices in the educational field.  

Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney and Christine Hamilton-Pennell. How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards. Denver: Library Research Service, 2000. Executive summary of the second "Colorado Study" conducted by Keith Curry Lance and the Library Research Service.

School Library Media Centers: Selected results from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 The U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released some of the findings from a longitudinal study of 10th graders. Among the findings are that students in the lowest quartile of composite test scores make less focused use of library resources, while students in the middle and highest three quartiles of composite test scores reported higher use of library resources for assignments, in-school projects and research papers.

Todd, Ross J. (2003) Irrefutable Evidence: How to prove you boost student achievement. School Library Journal. Todd, director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries at Rutgers University, introduces systematic approaches to documenting school library program impact on student achievement.
Select State Studies:

California: Siminitus, Jackie. California School Library Media Centers and Student Achievement. Government, Education and Medical Markets, SBC Pacific Bell, 2002.

Florida: Baumbach, Donna. Making the Grade: The Status of School Library Media Centers in the Sunshine State and How They Contribute to Student Achievement. 30 October 2003.

Illinois: Lance, Keith Curry, Marcia J. Rodney and Christine Hamilton-PennellPowerful Libraries Make Powerful Learners: The Illinois Study. Illinois School Library Media Association, 2005.

Pennsylvania: Lance, Keith Curry and Bill Schwarz. How Pennsylvania School Libraries Pay Off: Investments in Student Achievement and Academic Standards. Greensburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania School Library Project, 2012.

A 2013 "White Paper" titled Future Learning and School Libraries from Australia describing the importance and impact of teacher/school librarians in the 21st century, and pedagogical shifts to student-centered learning.  


"Research from 21 studies between 1990 and 2008 shows a positive relationship between adequately staffed and resourced school library programs and student achievement, reading scores, and literacy, regardless of socioeconomic or educational levels of the community."


NYSED Research

Research studies compiled by

School Library Impact Studies 1999-2014

Library Research Service external link icon
Library Research Service research and statistics about libraries for library and education professionals

New York State Impact Study (2006-2009)

This IMLS-funded, three phase, multi-method study of the impact of New York's school libraries and librarians on student learning and motivation confirmed that in elementary schools with certified librarians, students scored significantly higher on ELA standardized tests than schools without certified librarians. For more information on each phase of this study go to:

Phase I:

Phase II:

Phase III:

PI: Ruth V. Small, Laura J. & L. Douglas Meredith Professor and Founding Director, Center for Digital Literacy

School Libraries Work! PDF file icon (204 KB)
Scholastic Library Publishing report highlighting findings from studies conducted in 19 States and one Canadian Province between 1999 and 2008 on the impact of school library media centers on student achievement.

Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement
New York Comprehensive Center

I Love Libraries

Why are school libraries essential?  Visit I Love Libraries for answers.

Advocacy Tools & Toolkits

School Libraries Transform Learning

This digital magazine produced by AASL in partnership with American Libraries, is designed to be shared with parents, colleagues, administration, and policymakers. Includes the School Librarians Transform Learning infographic.

Toolkit for Promoting School Library Programs

Messages, Ideas, and Strategies for Communicating the Value of School Library Programs and School Librarians in the 21st Century

School Library Program Health and Wellness Toolkit

This toolkit provides a full range of resources to help school librarians build or update plans for stakeholder support and true advocacy.

Crisis Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to assist the school librarian who has encountered an immediate threat to their position and/or program. The toolkit guides school librarians through building meaningful and effective stakeholder support.

Common Core State Standards Implementation Assistance Toolkit

The Common Core State Standards present a transformational opportunity and a call to action for school librarians. The transformational opportunity challenges school librarians to revise their programs and focus on the critical role the library can play in engaging and supporting student learning through: