Student Learning through Delaware School Libraries
This research, undertaken on behalf of the Governor's Task force on School Libraries in Delaware from 2004-2006, comprised of two phases: Phase One of the research sought to document the infrastructure, resources, staffing and program activities of school libraries in Delaware, with a view to establishing base measures and benchmarks for ongoing improvement and development. Data were collected from 154 public school libraries in Delaware (91 elementary, 31 middle and 30 high schools, and 2 composite schools) during October 2004.
Phase Two sought to identify exemplary school libraries in Delaware and undertake more in-depth analyses of them in order to elucidate how quality school libraries contribute to learning in the school, and student outcomes and achievements. Specifically, this phase of the study sought to (1) provide evidence of how quality school libraries in Delaware help students with their learning in and away from school, and what are the outcomes enabled through this help; and (b) provide insight into professional practices of high quality school libraries which can serve as service models for developing continuous improvement plans for Delaware's school libraries, with particular emphasis on developing the instructional role of school libraries in Delaware integrated with content standards (a gap identified in Phase One).
In this phase, the quantitative data set consisted of 5733 valid student responses, and 468 faculty responses from 13 selected school in Delaware that met a range of quality school library criteria. 1210 students and 156 teachers from elementary schools, 2239 students and 149 teachers from elementary schools, and 2277 students and 163 teachers from high schools participated in the study. Among the students, 2659 were boys (46.4% of sample) and 2742 girls (47.8% of sample) participated in the study. Of the faculty, 111 were males (23.7 % of the sample) and 297 females (63.5 % of the sample).
Reports for the Governor's Task force on School Libraries are available at: http://www2.lib.udel.edu/taskforce/study.html
Executive summary Facts, Findings, and Recommendations (Phase 1) (2004)
Available at: http://www2.lib.udel.edu/taskforce/study/titlepage.pdf
Summary Report of Phase 2 (2006) Delaware School Library Survey: "Student Learning Through Delaware School Libraries" Available at:
Todd, R. J. "Building capacity and continuous improvement of school libraries: The Delaware experience". Paper presented at the Annual Conference and Research Forum of the International Association of School Librarianship, Berkeley, California August 2008.
This research paper is in two parts. "Part I: The Evidence" documents the
background, purpose, methodology and findings of the Delaware School Library
Infrastructure Study undertaken on behalf of the Delaware Governor's Task Force,
and highlights some key issues and concerns that have formed the basis for . "Part
2: From Evidence to Action" documents the processes and professional actions
involved in developing a sustainable program of improvement for school libraries in
Delaware through engaging with the research evidence. This research and
development process, initiated in 2005, is an ongoing evidence-based practice
program engaging multiple partnerships at school district and state department of
education to focus on continuous improvement and capacity building of school
libraries in the state of Delaware. At its center is a process of engaging school
librarians in a research-based, data-driven cycle of transforming school libraries so
that they can play a central and identifiable role in curriculum implementation,
student achievement, reading, and literacy development in Delaware's schools, and
to ensure that Delaware's school libraries play a role in world class learning and
literacy in the state.