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

Previous California Study
There has been one state-wide California study examining the correlations between
student achievement and school library media programs, but the results generally contradict the
findings of the other state studies discussed in previous sections. Sinclair-Tarr and Tarr (2004)
examined the correlations between school library programs and student achievement in
California and found that there were significant positive correlations between the presence of a
school library and student achievement at some levels. At the fourth grade, the researchers
reported positive correlations on mathematics and English/language arts assessments and found
the following elements of the library program to yield positive significant correlations: collection
size, variety of technology resources, the presence of a video collection, library hours, access to
the library at a variety of times, and skills-integrated instruction. However, the researchers also
found statistically significant negative correlations between student achievement and the
planning or conducting of workshops for teachers, providing information about new resources,
and the level of classified staffing. There was an overall negative statistical relationship between
level of services offered and student achievement.
At the middle school, Sinclair-Tarr and Tarr (2004) found a statistically significant
positive correlation between the presence of a school library program and student achievement in
mathematics but found no individual element or combination of elements within the school
library program that produced a positive significant correlation. Again, contrary to expectation,
video collections, access to the library in the afternoon, and reference services provided to
students and teachers produced a significant negative correlation. In English/language arts, the
researchers found no significant positive correlations with the presences of a library program,


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 July 31, 2015.