New Washington State study makes case for school librarians

GraduateWith the school year winding down and administrators thinking about and planning for next year, some school librarians may be worrying about their jobs. CMLE has covered this topic before! From the ALA President’s statement on school librarians, to CMLE wondering “Where have the Media Specialist Gone in 2014,” we know some of you may need some resources during this challenging time.

Just in time is a recent Washington State study that makes the case for school librarians even stronger. They found high schools with a certified teaching librarian (CTL) on staff had a 9 percent higher graduation rate. Standardized reading scores and year 1 math scores were also significantly higher in schools with CTLs.

School librarians go beyond just books and access. The study reports that information technology has a large role too, since school librarians “carry a heavy load of teaching responsibilities focused on information technology; skills that are necessary for success in higher education as well as virtually any profession in today’s world.”

Some of the major findings include:

  • Students who attend schools with certified teacher-librarians and quality library facilities perform better on standardized tests and are more likely to graduate, even after controlling for school size and student income level.
  • Students who attend schools with on-staff certified teacher-librarians (CTLs) have more equitable access to technologically advanced and accessible library facilities.
  • Students who attend schools with certified teacher-librarians are more likely to be taught information technology skills and technology fluency skills.

Read the article now or jump to the full report.

Image credit:, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0