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

(Callison, 2004). The same study indicated that school libraries with full-time library media
specialists and full-time clerical support were more likely than other school libraries to offer
electronic connections to resources, maintain Websites with curricular links, and provide access
to collections that are more current and relevant to the school's curriculum than are school
libraries with lesser staffing (Callison, 2004).
In a statewide Minnesota study (Baxter & Smalley, 2003) that included survey responses
from nearly 1,200 schools and site visits to 131 elementary and secondary schools, evaluators of
library media centers without full-time library media specialists or adequate support staff noted
poor collection development-including out-dated and poorly weeded collections-- lack of
flexible and equitable access to the library media center, and a lack of access to technology and
technology-based information resources. "Non-licensed staff may not know where to turn for
information or how to evaluate materials for selection," say Baxter and Smalley (2003). "The
result can be a collection that does not support the school curriculum or provide the resources
students need for academic success" (p. 67).
In California as nowhere else in the United States, there is a tremendous disparity among
schools simply regarding access to library media specialists and the programs they run (Everhart,
2003). In a survey of curriculum leaders from the largest 25 public school districts in California,
Simonitus (2002) reported that inadequate staffing-with the resultant lack of access to library
resources, including library media teachers-- was the library media center issue of highest
priority. There is some indication that this lack of access to library programs is related to student
achievement. Smalley (2004) followed the success of incoming freshman in an introductory
library course at a community college in Santa Cruz county, sorting progress among students
who had gone to the three school districts surrounding the college, only one of which provided

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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 September 18, 2014.