A colleague of mine, Lisa Holmberg, recently gave me some data from a small study by Horizon High School library staffers, Jennifer Alevy and Sara Poinier, showing huge increases in students’ use of reliable resources after library instruction.
I’d originally considered being a school media specialist, in large part because of the 1990’s study by Keith Curry Lance and others, The Impact of School Library Media Centers on Academic Achievement, which showed how having a librarian in the school helps kids excel. Keith continues to investigate this topic – here’s a (summary). The sad fact is that in these days of budget deficits, many schools are cutting library staff.
With all the jobseekers in the library these days, and the hoards of people using us to replace the entertainment/educational materials/events they used to have the money to buy, there’s so much to do in the library that it’s tough to contemplate starting new services to schools. But if your area has seen media specialist reductions, giving library instruction classes at the beginning of the semester can do so much to help youth academically that we have to try to squeeze it in.
Just what we need, another area where government cuts result in increased library use. Why can’t all our legislators see how important it is to give sufficient funds to libraries?