Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California Page: 175
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SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between school library
programs and student achievement. The independent variables for school library programs
included level of certificated library staff, levels of total library staffing, number and types of
services regularly provided, amount of technology available through the library, hours open,
collection size, and budget. Data for these were derived from the California Department of
Education School Library Survey. The dependent variables were the standardized test scores
from the California Standards Tests (CST) in English Language Arts for grades 4, 8 and 11,
social studies at grade 8, and U.S. History at grade 11.
A review of the relevant literature detailed the evolving instructional role of the library
media specialist and the studies indicating a significant relationship between school library
programs and student achievement. Theoretical models by Loertscher (2000) and Todd &
Kuhlthau (2006) posit that a successful library media program includes adequate certificated and
clerical staffing, and that the library media specialist provides critical instructional roles that
contribute significantly to student achievement. This review of the literature further noted that
while California school libraries have enjoyed occasional budget windfalls for materials
purchases, their current status as last among all states in certificated and clerical staffing levels is
not a recent development. California has had woefully inadequate staffing levels dating back at
least forty years (Howell, 1968), levels that have been in steady decline at least since 1986
(Brandes, 1987). A 2004 study by Sinclair-Tarr and Tarr reported significant but very weak
relationships between some aspects of school library programs and student achievement in
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Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California, dissertation, December 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/m1/189/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .