Thursday, March 30, 2017

Libraries and librarians: What does the research say?

Published in the Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2017

Sam Weller's strong defense of libraries includes this statement:  "District superintendents, senior administrators and bean counters with the ability to slash jobs apparently don't get it."  (“Without school librarians, we’re on a dystopian path.” March 30.)

The bean counters and administrators should be the first ones to understand the value of school libraries and librarians: Study after study has shown that better school libraries and the presence of credential school librarians are related to better reading achievement, as measured by standardized tests.  Keith Curry Lance's research has shown this for several states in the US, and our research term has confirmed his results for libraries in over 40 different countries.

Isaac Asimov was right in 1995 and his insight is still valid: "When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Sources:
Krashen, S., Lee, S.Y. and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is the library important? Multivariate studies at the national and international level. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1): 26-36.
Studies by Keith Curry Lance and associates at http://www.lrs.org/impact.php).
Asimov Quote: Asimov, I. (1995) I, Asimov. Random House.
Original article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-school-librarians-cuts-dystopia-perspec-0330-jm-20170329-story.html

Hat-tip: Hilda Weisburg

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