Sarah Darer Littman is an award-winning columnist and novelist of books for teens. A former securities analyst, she’s now an adjunct in the MFA program at WCSU, and enjoys helping young people discover the power of finding their voice as an instructor at the Writopia Lab.
I had a conversation recently with a Connecticut politician in which I’d asked him if we truly care about literacy and improving reading skills, why are we spending so much money on testing while schools that most need functioning libraries don’t have any? Or if they do have a school library, why don’t they have up-to-date materials or a qualified media specialist to put the right book in the hands of a child at the right time?
When I’d asked the question, this politician asked me if research existed to justify the salary of a media specialist. I suspect this politician knows full well such research exists. It’s been well documented for years. But let’s review a few of most recent studies here.
In their January 2012 study, Keith Curry Lance and Linda Hofschire looked at the Change in School Librarian Staffing Linked with Change in CSAP Reading Performance 2005 to 2011, (CSAP is a Colorado state test).
Their conclusion, consistent with findings of many previous studies, found that “regardless of how rich or how poor a community is, students tend to perform better on reading tests where, and when, their library programs are in the hands of endorsed librarians . . . At schools where library programs lose or never had an endorsed librarian, students suffer as a result.”
See the complete story at CT News Junkie.