Monday, September 4, 2017

Credentialed school librarians: What the research says

Sent to the Chicago Tribune, Sept 4, 2017
Original article:,amp.html

Congratulations to the Tribune for informing the public about the lack of school librarians in Chicago.  Not mentioned in "Information literacy lost" however, is the research showing that the presence of a credentialed school librarian is a significant predictor of reading achievement.

A recent study done by Scholastic tells us at least part of the reason why: School librarians connect young readers with books that are right for them.

This is crucial. Research also tells us that students who develop a reading habit read better, write better, spell better, have better control of grammar, and have larger vocabularies. They also know more about a wide variety of subjects.  It is therefore no surprise that they also do better on standardized tests of literacy.

We cheerfully spend billions on unvalidated tests and untested technology, yet we ignore the impressive research on libraries and librarians, and are unwilling to make the modest investments that will ensure that school libraries are well supplied with books and are staffed with credentialed librarians.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California


Keith Curry Lance and associates ( and 

Kachel, D. and Lance, K. 2013. Latest study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement.

Small, R. V., Snyder, J, and Parker, K. 2009.  The impact of New York's school libraries on student achievement and motivation: phase I. American Association of School Librarians.

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