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A Message From the Editor PIN 2012-6126-3 Learning & Media Online Fall 2012 Learning and Media Online is the official publication of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. As you read each issue online, please consider sharing your views, ideas and expertise with our community of PA school librarians as we all work toward the common good of providing access to quality library instruction, resources and services. As the new editor of L&M I plan to make our journal one that answers the question of “What do I get for my dues?” in a different way. We, as school librarians must be well-informed, leaders in our field. Learning and Media is changing by adding columns that will keep you abreast of what is happening in our state, our profession and our school libraries. PSLA committees will be providing articles useful information and timely updates. In addition the L&M editorial staff will be seeking contributions from our members on topics of current interest such as the PA Common Core, legislature matters and best practices in instruction. Issues will not have a specific theme but instead will have recurring themes and columns. Each future issue , for example, will have examples of how our membership is meeting the challenge of being the “only librarian” with no support staff in their school. Deadlines for submission are staying the same at this time, e.g. Sept. 15, Dec. 15, March 15, and June 15. You can send inquiries to or submit articles to We are only as good as our willingness to share with our profession and our journal will reflect our passion and commitment . Join today by recommitting yourself to your profession as a school librarian. Read as much as you can, share your expertise and see how our journal can help you become the manager, info professional, instructor….you fill in the terms as you apply information from Learning & Media. Good Reading! Sally Myers, Editor Learning & Media Update on the New Pennsylvania School Library Impact Study Debra E. Kachel, IMLS Project Director Integrated school library programs, staffed by full-time librarians who collaborate and teach both students and teachers, result in higher reading and writing test scores and help to close the achievement gap among at-risk learners. Is this the “silver bullet” that our administrators and school board members are looking for to improve student learning? YES! And everyone needs to help spread the news! These findings are the result of a federally-funded IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) National Leadership Research grant in which PSLA is partnering with the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania (ELC) and HSLC. The primary investigator, Dr. Keith Curry Lance and his associates at RSL Research Group, Colorado, are completing the final report due in September 2012, to kick off the new school year. However, the preliminary findings are even more supportive of well- resourced and staffed school library programs than the findings of Lance’s 1999-2000 Pennsylvania study called Measuring Up to Standards: The Impact of School Library Programs and Information Literacy in Pennsylvania Schools. What Data Was Analyzed? Lance and his associates used two primary pieces of quantitative data to correlate characteristics of school library programs to student achievement. They used the 2011 PSSA reading and writing scores from Pennsylvania’s 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th grades from all 500 public school districts. They also used the State Board of Education’s Pennsylvania School Library Study data collected via online surveys in which an overwhelming 78 percent of the public school participated. The State Board study provided a snapshot in Spring 2011 of public school library staffing, budgets, collections, technology, and other aspects. The researchers also took a close look at the subgroups as identified by the PSSA testing program, in particular economically disadvantaged, African American, Latino, and students with IEPs. (There were too few data to analyze English Language Learners.) In 19992000, writing was not tested and no data was available for subgroups of students. Not surprisingly, the single most significant component of a school library program that makes a difference in student achievement is having a full-time, certified school librarian who is fully engaged in the school’s instructional program. Interestingly, the impact of library staff on writing scores is even stronger than on reading scores,. The new study also makes a compelling case in terms of closing the achievement gap among students who are economically disadvantaged, African American, Latino, and who have IEPs. Across the board, libraries staffed by a librarian and support staff were more likely to have advanced

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