School Library Research


School Library Research (ISSN: 2165-1019) is the scholarly refereed research journal of the American Association of School Librarians. It is the successor to School Library Media Research (ISSN: 1523-4320) and School Library Media Quarterly Online.

The purpose of School Library Research is to promote and publish high quality original research concerning the management, implementation, and evaluation of school library programs. The journal will also emphasize research on instructional theory, teaching methods, and critical issues relevant to school libraries and school librarians.

SLR seeks to distribute major research findings worldwide through both electronic publication and linkages to substantive documents on the Internet. The primary audience for SLR includes academic scholars, school librarians, instructional specialists and other educators who strive to provide a constructive learning environment for all students and teachers.

SLR is indexed by The Education Full Text Database by EBSCO/Wilson and by the The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC).

All material in SLR is subject to copyright by ALA and may be reproduced only for the noncommercial purpose of educational or scientific advancement.


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Enablers and Inhibitors to English Language Learners’ Research Process in a High School Setting


This researcher sought to examine enablers and inhibitors to English language learner (ELL) students’ research process within the framework of Carol C. Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP). At a high school forty-eight ELL students in three classes, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, and a biology teacher participated in the study while the students conducted a research project in English. Data were collected through a demographic questionnaire, process surveys, interviews, and observations. The findings indicated that at the end of the research process more students reported difficulties looking for specific information, understanding hard vocabulary, evaluating (or selecting) information, summarizing, and writing

than they did in the middle stage of the research process. To develop a solid grasp of vocabulary and concepts about their topics, some students searched resources in their native languages first, but did not use the content of these resources in the final product. To overcome the addressed challenges, the students wished for someone who knew the project and the subject, prompt help in finding precise information and looking up vocabulary and pronunciation, more background knowledge on their topics, sufficient time to complete the project, and a sample research paper. This study provided instructional strategies the teachers used to teach ELL students, and included discussions about information behaviors of ELL students, instructional strategies to support ELLs, and research instruments.

Author(s):
  • Sung U. Kim, Assistant Professor, The Catholic University of America
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Performance-Based Evaluation and School Librarians


Evaluation of instructional personnel is standard procedure in our Pre-K–12 public schools, and its purpose is to document educator effectiveness. With Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind waivers, states are required to implement performance-based evaluations that demonstrate student academic progress. This three-year study describes the implementation of performance-based evaluations for school librarians in Virginia. Participants completed an online survey at the end of the 2011–2012, 2012–2013, and 2013–2014 school years. Findings indicate that the majority of participants were evaluated using teacher-performance standards and that the majority write teaching goals as opposed to program goals. Further research should be conducted to describe the implementation process in other states, to compare performance-based evaluation of school librarians from state to state, and to explore the use of student performance data that is collected to demonstrate academic progress to also provide local evidence of the school librarian’s impact on student learning.

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Introducing an Information-Seeking Skill in a School Library to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Using Video Modeling and Least-to-Most Prompts


This study investigated the effectiveness of a video peer modeling and least-to-most prompting intervention in the school library setting, targeting the instructional delivery of an information literacy skill to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research studies have evaluated the effectiveness of video-modeling procedures in the acquisition of social initiation, conversational skills, perspective-taking, appropriate play, and functional skills. However, the literature is limited on the acquisition of academic skills in library instructional programs as effected by video modeling with least-to-most prompting. This single-case, multiple baseline design across five middle school students with ASD used a descriptive approach to measure

baseline, video peer-modeling intervention, and withdrawal phases. The results suggest that video modeling with least-to-most prompting was successful in teaching the five participants to access the online library catalog to help them select books for academic and leisure activities. Findings from the current study add to the literature on the use of video-modeling procedures in improving academic skills in students with ASD and can be applied in library instructional programs to strengthen existing educational programs and services for children with ASD.

Author(s):
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Action Research Empowers School Librarians


Successful school library programs occur through careful planning and reflection. This reflective process is improved when it is applied in a systematic way through action research. The action research described in this paper enabled school librarians to reflect based on evidence, using data they had collected. This study presents examples of the types of projects chosen by the librarians, aggregate outcomes from 156 action research projects conducted by thirty-nine school librarians over a two-year period, and the results from a follow-up survey completed by nineteen of the thirty-nine participating school librarians. This study was designed to determine whether the school librarians viewed their action research as being feasible, valuable, and empowering. The review of literature and the Implications section of this report are framed using Susan E. Noffke’s concept that there are three families of action research: the professional, the personal, and the political.

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Are Self-Perception Measures Used in School Library Research Transferable to the Context of Public Library Summer Reading Programs?


Several instruments previously validated for use in school library research were tested for their appropriateness in the context of public libraries’ summer reading programs for youth. The researchers were also interested in whether the connection between perceived competence in one’s own information skills and perceived competence in one’s own reading skills, as found in school library research, might also exist for participants in public library summer reading programs. In addition, a separate research question explored whether youth participants connected the summer reading program to increased confidence and improvement in their reading abilities. Findings suggest that reliable measures that can be used in the context of both school and public libraries may be beneficial for future collaboration and coordination in youth programming both in and out of school. Findings also suggest that summer reading programs foster self-perceptions of improved reading ability. 

Author(s):
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Anatomy of Advocacy: A Case Study of the White House Petition


Little research has been conducted examining advocacy efforts in the school library field despite the fact that program advocate is a prominent role for school librarians. One element of advocacy is the engagement in political initiatives that may affect school library programs. This case study investigates the effectiveness of one advocacy effort in response to a call for support of a national petition in support of school libraries. Data were collected, and factors underlying this advocacy campaign were analyzed. This report is a case study analysis of a time constrained advocacy initiative, including the number of participants, demographic factors in relationship to participation, and the interaction of participants on an e-mail discussion list. With the emergent focus on lobbying for the reauthorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), this study has import for the design and development of successful advocacy efforts now and in the future.

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The Dispositions of Elementary School Children of Individualistic and Collectivist Cultures Who Are Intrinsically Motivated to Seek Information


This paper is based on two studies conducted in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2008 and in Kampala, Uganda, in 2014. The basic research question addressed in both studies was: “What are the experiences in the lives of upper elementary-aged children that foster an intrinsic motivation to seek information?” The secondary question was: “How do the experiences of students from a collectivist culture (Kampala, Uganda) who are intrinsically motivated to seek information compare and contrast with the experiences of similarly aged students from an individualistic culture (Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.)?” The focus of this paper is to explore the dispositions of both sets of informants using a theoretical framework consisting of the educative dispositions of an Effective Learner—independence, creativity, self-motivation, and resilience (Bertram and Pascal 2002)—as correlated with the dispositions listed in the American Association of School Librarians’ Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (2007). The findings were that both sets of informants exhibited an affinity for play and a tendency toward creativity, and that the Ugandan students were more inclined toward competence-building activities than their Colorado Springs counterparts, who generally exhibited noncompetitive dispositions. Furthermore, resilience was a disposition revealed by students in the Ugandan study.

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Audiobooks: Legitimate “Reading” Material for Adolescents?


Several decades of research have established that time spent reading has a positive impact onthe cognitive development and academic success of school-aged children and adolescents. Yet, reading among adolescents has been in decline in recent years while engagement with audiobooks has increased. Professionals in librarianship, children’s literature, and literacy education have long promoted the educational benefits of transacting with audiobooks. Critics, however, contest the idea that listening to an audiobook can serve as a legitimate form of reading. This paper reviews the literature on audio delivery of content to three distinct participant groups: adolescents with visual impairments or learning disabilities, adolescent second language learners, and typically developing adolescents. Findings from the studies of audio delivery of content are mixed, and great variability in outcomes have been reported, depending on the characteristics of the groups studied. Numerous gaps exist in the research surrounding ado escents’ use of audiobooks, including examinations of the effectiveness of commercially produced audiobooks and explorations of adolescents’ listening preferences. This review points to the need for much more research in this line of study and raises questions about librarians’ promotion of audiobooks for use with adolescents.

Author(s):
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Applying the Quadratic Usage Framework to Research on K–12 STEM Digital Learning Resources


Numerous policymakers have called for K–12 educators to increase their effectiveness by transforming science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning and teaching with digital resources and tools. In this study we outline the significance of studying pressing issues related to use of digital resources in the K–12 environment and use the Quadratic Usage Framework of K–12 technology adoption to contextualize the results of a qualitative synthesis of published research. While we conclude that many traditional issues relating to educators’ access, skill, policy, and motivation to use digital learning resources emerged clearly from the body of literature, new areas relating to resource curation, information seeking, educational data mining, and learning personalization provide particularly promising areas for further research.

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The Lilead Survey: A National Study of District-Level Library Supervisors: The Position, Office, and Characteristics of the Supervisor


The school district library supervisor occupies a pivotal position in library and information services programs that support and enhance the instructional efforts of a school district: providing leadership; advocating for the programs; supporting, advising, and providing professional development to building-level librarians; and representing school library programs to stakeholders in the school system and the community at large. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Lilead Project was founded at the University of Maryland in 2011 to “study, support, and build community among school district library supervisors” (Lilead Project n.d.). To gain a better understanding of supervisors—who they are, the duties they perform, and the challenges they face—and to establish baseline data upon which further research can be built, in 2012 the project team conducted a survey of supervisors nationwide: the Lilead Survey. In this paper, which is the first of two planned reports on the results of the survey, we present findings related to the position and office of the supervisor; demographic information, qualifications, and career paths of the incumbents of the position; and changes in policies, curriculum, and resources that impact the supervisor’s responsibilities for library services. Survey findings related to responsibilities and tasks assigned to the position, professional development needs of supervisors and staff, and challenges and needs that supervisors face will be presented in the second report. 

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