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.


Sessions

Pre-Service School Librarians’ Perceptions of Research Pedagogy: An Exploratory Study


This article is an exploratory study of graduate-level instruction on research designs and methods for pre-service school librarians (PSSLs). Using a focus group of one cohort of PSSLs, we examine students’ perceptions of understanding research methods, course content and delivery, and self-reported application of new knowledge from a sequence of two graduate research courses in a Master’s degree program. Findings indicate increased appreciation and understanding of the research process among participants and the ability to integrate the research findings of others into their own practice, while also indicating little or no confidence in their own abilities to conduct research in their new positions as school librarians or report on their findings to others. Findings point to opportunities to improve instruction through intellectual accessibility, focusing on action research for the practitioner, and scaffolding learning throughout the graduate program.

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School Librarian Interventions for New-Teacher Resilience: A CLASS II Field Study


School librarians occupy a unique position to offer supports for first-year teachers to build teachers’ resilience, reduce their burnout, and ensure retention. Fifteen school librarians recruited twenty-six new teachers in their schools to form the treatment group. A comparison group of twenty-six new teachers were matched by initial scores on a resilience scale, by school level, and by Title I status of the school. The treatment group received interventions under the Continuum of Care model, which I developed. Following treatment, the comparison group and treatment group were surveyed for level of resilience, burnout, and retention. Quantitative data were analyzed using t-test, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and binary logistic regression. Interviews of school librarian-new teacher pairs revealed the lived experiences of participants. Those in the treatment group received significantly higher levels of mentoring and collaboration than did those in the comparison group. The effect of the interaction between the level of resilience of the treatment group and age was significant. Interviews show that school librarians and new teachers valued their relationship and voiced the effect of resilience, burnout, and retention. Reaching out to new teachers to bridge the gap between the library and classroom should be considered as best practice for school librarians.

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School Librarians’ View of Cooperation with Public Libraries: A Win-Win Situation in Hong Kong


The purpose of the research was to explore the collaboration between public libraries and schools in Hong Kong from the perspective of school librarians. Three school librarians were interviewed (semi-structured), and their responses were thematically analyzed. Collaboration between public libraries and the three schools was well received and supported by the principals at their respective schools. The three school librarians considered inter-lending to be a top benefit, as well as access to electronic resources. A goal was further collaboration with public libraries. In return, the school librarians were committed to promoting public library services through engaging in educational activities with teachers and students. Furthermore, outreach activities were a significant focus for collaboration. The study of public library and school library collaboration in Asian countries is largely missing from academic dialogue, especially studies focusing on collaboration in a large metropolis like Hong Kong. Through in-depth interviews and qualitative analysis, this paper is intended to fill the research gap in this particular area of study.

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Genrefying the Children’s Fiction Collection


Genrefying a library’s fiction collection is a common practice in school libraries. However, there is little research to explain the benefits or drawbacks of this practice. Using a within-subjects/time-series action research design, this study was conducted to understand more about the impact of genrefying the fiction collection in a single library. This study found that elementary students could locate fiction books faster and to greater satisfaction with a genrefied collection than in a collection in which fiction was arranged in a FIC label format, which is typically seen in standard Dewey Decimal classification.

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Reflective School Library Practitioners: Use of Journaling to Strengthen Practice


Reflection is a skill educators of school librarians hope to foster in their students. Widely used in teacher preparation (Hodgins 2014), reflective journaling is a pedagogical strategy that aligns with the text-based nature of library and information studies coursework, especially as more library schools move online (Kymes and Ray 2012). This study explores use of structured dialogic journaling as a pedagogical approach to inform and shape the reflective practice of pre-service school librarians. Journals were introduced in an early school library methods course and structured using Schon’s Reflective Practitioner model (1987). Additional opportunities to engage with dialogic journals continued through the intern experience, with final entries included in the study made after one year of practice. Findings suggest journaling pedagogy impacts participants’ perceptions of reflection in action, reflection on action, and reflection on reflection in action when developed as a structured exercise. Participants in this study benefitted from the use of journaling as a teaching tool in their library and information studies program when used to promote more-reflective practice. Implications suggest that journaling enables and encourages participants to critically reflect on practice when provided with a scaffolded experience in coursework.

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Exploring the Literacy-Related Behaviors and Feelings of Pupils Eligible for Free School Meals in Relation to Their Use of and Access to School Libraries


Although it has been argued that school libraries are important for supporting the reading engagement of pupils who receive free school meals, to date there has been little analysis of the extent to which use of school library spaces is related to these pupils’ reading behaviors. We analyzed data from 6,264 children and young adults in the United Kingdom entitled to free school meals (FSM) who completed the 2019 National Literacy Trust Annual Literacy Survey. Our goals were to understand the extent to which these pupils’ engagement with reading and writing were related to access to or use of their school libraries and to understand some of the reasons why they do or do not use school libraries. We found their enjoyment of both reading and writing, their confidence in their own abilities, and the frequency with which they read or wrote for pleasure outside of school was significantly higher for those pupils eligible for FSM who used their school libraries relative to both those who did not use their school libraries and those who had no school library. Consistent with this finding, children eligible for FSM who used their school library engaged with a greater diversity of reading material and writing than those who were not school library users. Pupils who had access to welcoming, well-equipped libraries with books well-matched to students’ interests used the libraries for those reasons and because, for many, it was a safe haven. Many non-users either had no school library or perceived the library as poorly equipped, unwelcoming, or uninteresting. We argue that effective school libraries can be a significant resource in supporting engagement with self-motivated literacy practices in children from low-income families.

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