School Library Newsletter

Cathy Haley, Brittni Knebel Branton, Amethyst Skinner

More Access to Books Means Better Reading

According to Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (1998), the library media specialist is required to perform the following functions: teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator (pp. 4-5). The Learning and Teaching Principles of School Library Media Programs outlines how the library media programs will participate in helping to create a school program that ensures quality education and student achievement. Information Power (1998) reports that “Schools have evolved to focus on learning, and effective school library media programs have also changed their focus from collections to learning that engages students in pursuing knowledge within and beyond a formal curriculum” (p. 59). Research strongly supports these Learning and Teaching Principles. Principles 1 and 2, concerning the essential need for the library media program as integral to the school curriculum, and Principle 5, access to the full range of information resources and services, are confirmed by the research done by Krashen, Lee, and McQuillan. In the article,“Is the Library Important?,” Krashen, Lee, and McQuillan (2012) reported on several studies that confirmed the importance of the school library. After examining McQuillan’s 1998 study and comparing it to the “2007 fourth grade NAEP and more recent measures of poverty and access to books,” the research showed that “poverty is a strong predictor of scores,” but “access to books makes an independent contribution to reading achievement” (p. 27). In another study these researchers tried to determine the factors responsible for improvement between grades 4 and 8. They found that “grade 4 scores are a strong predictor of grade 8 scores,” but poverty is a weak predictor (Krashen, Lee, McQuillan, 2012, p. 28). These researchers further indicated that they found that students who read “better in grade four also read better in grade eight, but access to books can help here as well” (p. 28). Krashen, Lee, and McQuillan (2012) reported their findings on the analysis of the PIRLS Study (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) conducted to fourth graders in over forty countries. Their findings indicate that the library is the “consistent predictor of reading scores” (p. 30). They conclude by adding that although access to books is important, there are still some children who will not read. However, the research done still shows the importance of libraries.

Krashen, S., Lee, S.,& McQuillan, J. (2012). Is the library important? Multivariate

studies at the national and international level.Journal of Language and Literacy

Education [Online], 8(1), 26-38. Available at


Involving School Library Media Specialist in Curriculum Development and Collaboration Has Benefits

Being involved in the curriculum development, collaborative planning, and creative, effective, and collaborative teachings are also principles of school library media programs. Principles 3 and 4 are supported by the research done by Keith Curry Lance and Briana Hovendick Francis. In their article, “The Impact of Library Media Specialists on Students and How It Is Valued by Administrators and Teachers,” Francis and Lance (2011) report that “two recent studies demonstrate that not only do library media specialists have a positive quantifiable impact on student achievement, LMSs at schools where librarians are included more in the educational process are more likely to rate their own teaching of ICT [information, communication, and technology] literacy as excellent” (p. 63). They concluded that the latest studies done in Colorado and Idaho “provide evidence…” that “schools that employ qualified LMS librarians [have]a higher likelihood that students will do well on standardized tests…” (p. 69). Francis and Lance (2011) further maintain that “librarians must recognize the ways they can narrow the achievement gap, seize opportunities to collaborate with other educators, and advocate on behalf of the profession” (p. 69).

Francis, B., & Lance, K. (2011). The impact of library media specialists on students and how it is valued by administrators and teachers: Findings from the latest studies in Colorado and Idaho. Techtrends: Linking Research And Practice To Improve Learning, 55(4), 63-70.

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Reference to Picture

Moreillon, Judy. (2014, March 3). One principal's 4 c's. Retrieved from

Research Supports the Impact of School Library Media Programs

In another article, Keith Curry Lance (2002) reported that over the past 50 years, “there have been about 75 studies on the impact of school library media programs on academic achievement” (p. 3). He reported that the findings of more recent studies indicate that “students perform better academically when the LMS is part of a planning and teaching team with the classroom teacher, teaches information literacy skills, and provided one-to-one tutoring for students in need” (p. 3). Lance (2002) also reported that recent studies revealed the value of information access and delivery through “quality collections of books and other materials to support the curriculum, state-of-the-art technology that is integrated into the learning/teaching process, and cooperation between school library media centers and other types of libraries, especially public libraries” (p. 3). Lance (2002) reported that a “key role” of the LMS is program administration, but it “has only been the subject of research” for about a decade (p. 3). As a program administrator, the LMS can be an “advocate for information literacy with the principal, at faculty meetings, and in standards and curriculum meetings;” furthermore, the LMS can provide “in-service training programs for teachers on resource-based learning, integrating information literacy into the curriculum and getting the most out of technology, as well as teaching students” (p. 3). According to Lance (2002), “to be a successful advocate for information literacy, research shows, the LMS must have support staff who free them from the LMC to participate in important meeting, win and keep the support of the principal, support use of the school’s computer network to extend the reach of the LM program, and the raise funds successfully” (p. 3).

Research Supports the Impact of School Library Media Programs (cont.)

Lance (2002) provided the results of further studies done on the impact of school libraries. His findings showed that where library media programs were “better staffed, better stocked, and better funded, academic achievements tend to be higher” (p. 4). Another conclusion determined after these studies were conducted was the relationship of student performance to the “extent to which LM staff are engaged in particular activities” (p. 4). Lance (2002) reported that “key activities were those related to the school library media specialist’s roles as a teacher of information literacy to students and a provider of in-service training to teachers; a school leader who participates in decision-making with other instructional leaders, and a collaborator with classroom teachers in the planning and delivery of instruction” (pp. 4-5). Lance (2002) reported that some studies done on individual student visits to the library and the availability of Internet-capable computers in the LMC had varied results (p. 5). However, Lance (2002) reported that “all of the recent studies of the impact of school library media programs on academic achievement provide direct and/or indirect evidence to support several common findings” (p. 5). These findings include:

1. Professionally-trained and credentialed school library media specialists do make a difference that affects student performance on achievement tests.

2. In order for library media specialists to make this difference, collaboration with teachers is essential.

3. Library media specialists cannot do their jobs effectively unless they have support staff who free them from routine tasks and enable them to participate in a variety of one-to-one and group meetings outside the library media center.

4. Library media specialists have a twofold teaching role. They are teachers of students, facilitating the development of information literacy skills necessary for success in all content areas, and they are in-service trainers of teachers, keeping areas of the latest information resources and technology. (p. 5)

Lance, K. (2002). How school librarians leave no child behind: The impact of school library media programs on academic achievement of U.S. public school students. School Libraries In Canada, 22(2), 3-6.

Librarians Impact Student Achievement

Jamie Helgren talked with Keith Curry Lance, consultant at RSL Research and former Director of the Library Research Service about the impact of school libraries on student achievement in this interview. Lance told Helgren that librarians needed to be involved with collaborating with teachers in everything from the planning of the curriculum to the delivery of instruction. Lance told Helgren that one of his favorite findings of the research was that “if school librarians provide in-school service training to teachers more frequently, then students tend to do better on tests.” Lance told Helgren that “Basically, anything that librarians do that gets them involved in an integral way with instruction” will help student achievement.

In Video 5, Lance told Helgren that in 2002 there was a school library conference held at the White House while Laura Bush was the First Lady. On the state level, a similar event has happened every year since 2002 in Texas called Strong Libraries, Strong Scores. Lance’s research clearly supports all of the Learning and Teaching Principles of the School Media Program that require school library media specialists to be teachers and collaborators, providers of information access, and program administrators.

Lance, K. (2010). The impact of school libraries on student achievement: Exploring the school library impact studies (2010). Video. Library Research Service, 2013. Retrieved on July 14, 2014 from

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Reference to Images and Video

Lance, K. (2010). The impact of school libraries on student achievement: Exploring the school library impact studies (2010). Video. Library Research Service, 2013. Retrieved on July 14, 2014 from

Attention Teachers Working with Students on Research Projects

Plagiarism is using another author’s work and representing that work as your own ideas. While this is a moral offense of academic dishonesty, some consequences of plagiarism include penalties, suspension, and even expulsion.

It is important to realize that the assignment you (the teacher) assign can either discourage or encourage students to plagiarize. For example, if you ask for a book summary, students will be encouraged to pull up a summary on the internet and copy and paste it. However, if you make the students analyze the book with their opinions on how well the author wrote the book, then they will less likely plagiarize. According to the University of Pretoria's Plagiarism Prevention Policy (2009), it is about the design of the project or assignment (p. 23). The University of Pretoria's Plagiarism Prevention Policy (2009) states that the teacher should, "change topics regularly, allow enough time, beware of broad or general topics, and make sure everybody understands assignment" (p. 23). By making sure the topic or assignment follows these preventive actions, the assignment should not have plagiarism and the quality of work can be better.
University of Pretoria. (2009). Plagiarism prevention policy. Retrieved on July 18, 2014 from

There are four factors of fair use that dictate whether or not the user plagiarized a copyrighted piece of work. First, the Purpose and Character of use: Was it used to create something new, or was it copied word for word? Second, the nature of the copyrighted work:You are more likely to have fair use if the work is factual or published than if the work is fictional or unpublished. Third, The amount and substantiality of the portion taken: The less you take, the better you are unless it is the main part of the work. Last, the effect it has on the potential market: Will it deprive the owner of income or potential market for the work? is a great way to check for plagiarism on students' work. According to's website (2014), "190,000 papers are submitted per day with 500,000 papers submitted on peak days." Lots of schools and colleges use this website to verify the students' work is credible. Students submit their paper into's website. In turn, the website finds how many phrases hit another source that has been written already. It gives the student and professor or teacher a percentage of plagiarism. If the students have not plagiarized, then the percentage should be low. However, if the percentage is high, then it is more likely the student plagiarized. The website will highlight in the student's paper where plagiarizing takes place and where the student copied the words from (the source). is a great way for teachers to check for plagiarism.
Our Company (2014). Turnitin. Retrieved from July 18, 2014, from

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that is devoted to sharing creative works with the use of legal tools. It gives people the right to use, share, or even build upon work others have created and protects them as long as they abide by the conditions set. They create a balance between the internet and the copyright laws.

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Reference to Picture

Scott, Karen. (2008, January 11). Karen knows best. Retrieved from

Personal Statements

I, Brittni Knebel Branton, pledge to honor intellectual property during my student days, in my work, and by word and example with students and faculty.

I, Cathy Haley, pledge to honor intellectual property during my student days, in my work, and by word and example with students and faculty.

I, Amethyst Skinner, pledge to honor intellectual property during my student days, in my work, and by word and example with students and faculty.

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Reference for Picture

Dwelling in the Word (2009, December 29). Retrieved from