Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California

"present in English classes when plans are developed" (p. 19) and be a "frequent visitor to the
office of the English department" (p. 18). Heller and Labrant introduce a level of collaboration
that suggests a different instructional role for the librarian. By being present not only in the
library, but also in classrooms, and by helping to plan lessons, the librarian becomes an
instructional partner. In this setting, "the library becomes at once, not a place where people are
sent, but a means to a desired goal; the librarian is not the vendor of more-or-less superimposed
books, but an individual who aids in the solution of a difficulty" (p. 19). As students progress
through projects, they confer regularly with both teacher and librarian on all aspects of the
project, not just about resources.
To Heller and Labrant (1938), the librarian's instructional role extends all the way to
evaluation, helping students recognize ways to improve product and process, and working with
the teacher to evaluate their own roles in the progress of the unit. In this model, "librarian and
teacher participate in pupil planning of a unit and continue with the pupils throughout their study
until the work is completed and evaluation is made" (Heller & Labrant, 1938, p. 26). Closely tied
with this model of teacher-librarian collaboration is the philosophy of integrating information
skills instruction seamlessly into the curriculum. In the case study presented in The Librarian
and the Teacher of English (Heller & Labrant 1938), "pupils learn how to use the library, not
through formal instruction but by actual experience" (p. 22). The authors argue against the
library lesson disconnected from the content of the curriculum, saying such a lesson often "fails
to carry over since there is no spark" (p. 23). The "spark" here is the motivation gained from
engaging in actual course content, using new skills for a purpose. Significantly, the teacher and
librarian share instructional responsibility for research and library skills. "Since the librarian is
regarded as a good teacher and the teacher is recognized as an expert in the knowledge and use


Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/. Accessed June 24, 2016.