Libraries haven’t been having the easiest time as of late thanks to budget shortfalls and adaptations to an online world, yet an impressive number of studies have shown a strong link between increased spending on libraries and increases in student achievement, overcoming some of the greatest obstacles to student learning.
Although poverty remains a primary force in determining student academic success, the studies in state after state showed that socio-economic conditions could not explain away the impact of school library programs. A Wisconsin study in 2006, for example, found that the impact of a robust library media program in high school was almost seven percentage points greater than the impact of socio-economic variables.
“In fact, quality school library programs may play an even greater role for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds,” says [Debra E.] Kachel.
Significant impacts were also found on writing, reading and history scores across the board, but having a qualified librarian on board was also important. One study from Ontario found that students were far more likely to enjoy reading in grades three and six when a qualified librarian was present in the school.
Despite the need for thrift these days and the presence of more online opportunities for research, the collective knowledge derived these studies is clear: Spending on libraries is an investment that will see returns.
Full story at Newswise.