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School Library Research


What Do Stakeholders Know about School Library Programs? Results of a Focus Group Evaluation


Free

Description

Supporting the Infrastructure Needs of 21st Century School Library Programs, also known as the Pennsylvania School Library Project, was a one-year project conducted in Pennsylvania to better identify and understand what stakeholders—teachers, administrators, parents, school and community leaders, and education associations—expect from school library programs to educate tomorrow’s citizens. The project team gave presentations to four focus groups throughout the Commonwealth; during the focus group sessions stakeholders engaged with research and data about the impact of school library programs in Pennsylvania. The focus group members’ feedback was sought to build awareness and support, and, through consensus-building activities, clarify which components of the school library program infrastructure they valued most. A formal external evaluation of the focus groups found that reaching out to stakeholders in an organized, purposeful way, and not in a crisis mode, garnered substantial support for school  libraries and school librarians. Inviting stakeholders to learn about the research of the profession in a professional and inclusive environment allowed them to thoughtfully reflect on school libraries’ value and become school library champions.

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