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

schools reported increases in library materials spending. Yetter (1994), in a qualitative study of
resource-based learning in Washington state, found that a baseline requirement for success using
this educational strategy was adequate funding for library materials and technology. Callison
(1990) reviewed data from a 1987 U.S. Department of Education report of 571 public schools
(Williams, 1987) providing high service library media programs and noted that such programs
also typically spent more than twice as much per student on library materials, facility and staff
than did programs not offering high levels of service. Conversely, in a survey of over 500
library media specialists nationwide, McCracken (2001) reported that one of the most frequently
cited barriers to library media specialists expanding their roles was a lack of funding for
materials and equipment. The consequence of this funding shortfall was a lack of resources in all
formats to adequately support curriculum.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, California's public school libraries enjoyed
unprecedented state funding that vaulted per pupil expenditures close to the national mean
(Archon, 2003). Archon sought to determine the effect of that funding on school library
programs in Fresno County. The author found this funding "substantially impacted" (p. 119) the
quality and size of the collection, integration of library media center technology into the school
site's technology plan, the library media specialist's ability to provide regular technology
training to other teachers, and the library media specialist's ability to collaborate with classroom
teachers in planning, teaching and evaluating lessons. Archon concluded, too, that while such
funding helped move library media teachers "towards a more collaborative and partnership role
with classroom teachers," paraprofessionals, many of whom work without professional staff,
"have remained in the role of keeper of the books" (121).


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 January 18, 2017.