Wisconsin's School Libraries

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Strong school library media programs keep us all in a better state! Studies across the nation prove that quality school libraries are critical to student achievement.

The Research Foundation at Scholastic Library Publishing has compiled a summary of these major research findings in, “School Libraries Work!” The 2006 edition cites research from 16 states, as well as statements from the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, and other sources. Among the major conclusions:

  • Quality school library media programs (indicated by the presence of qualified school library media specialists) lead to better student achievement. 

School library media specialists have diverse roles as teachers, instructional partners, and program administrators. Their collaboration with teachers and administrators results in students getting better grades and higher scores on standardized tests than students in schools without good library programs.

School library media centers offer students access to a range of print and electronic resources to help them become skilled information and technology users. In the school library, students also develop a love of reading and ideas.

An effective school library program.....

  • Provides flexible and equitable access to information, resources and ideas for learning
  • Offers a broad collection and range of resources to support the curriculum in all formats to support the diverse learning needs, abilities and styles of students
  • Provides information, technology and literacy standards aligned with content standards and integrated into the curriculum through collaborative planning, teaching and assessment
  • Utilizes current technology to provide access to and effective communication of information
  • Provides adequate licensed professional staff and qualified support staff to effectively administer, manage and implement program instructional needs and services
  • Supports life-long learning by promoting reading, viewing and listening for understanding and enjoyment

Compiled by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning

School Library Profiles

  • Hilltop Elementary School Library, Rice Lake

    Instilling technology skills at a young age is central to instruction in the Hilltop Elementary School library media center in Rice Lake, Wis. Wendy Halverson, one of four library media specialists…

  • Kettle Moraine Middle School Library

    A decade-long technology revolution promoted by its library media specialist has made Kettle Moraine Middle School into one of the more technologically advanced schools in Wisconsin and one of the top…

  • Monona Grove High School Library

    Because of her ability to collaborate, Valerie Edwards has made the school’s library media center “highly productive and the heart of the school,” according to its principal, Paul Brost. During her ni…

  • Parkview Junior/Senior High School Library

    Education is all about learning your ABC’s and one-two-threes, so the old expression goes. However, at Parkview Junior/Senior High School in Orfordville, Wis., it’s the CCC that has played a large rol…

Americans check out an average of more than seven books a year.  They spend $34.95 a year for the public library—about the average cost of one hardcover book.

ALA Office for Research & Statistics, ALA Public Information Office

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation

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