Study: Library funding ups student scores

May 9, 2011 at 4:25 PM
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MANSFIELD, Pa., May 9 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say a study of 22 U.S. states and a Canadian province shows when funding support for school libraries rises, reading and testing scores go up.

Researchers at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania say the study contradicts an article of faith among critics of public schools that there is no correlation between spending and learning outcomes, a university release reported last week.

"Quality school library programs impact student achievement," said Debra E. Kachel, a professor in the School Library and Information Technologies Department at Mansfield. "The research shows clearly that schools that support their library programs give their students a better chance to succeed."

Kachel and a class of graduate students examined school library impact studies by 22 states and the Canadian province of Ontario, all of which found positive links between library support and learning.

The study found that increased library hours and group visits by classes to the library, larger collections with access at school and from home, up-to-date technology and more student use of school library services all led to incremental increases in student learning.

"School leaders should to recognize this research and foster school library programs that can make a difference," Kachel said.

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