Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California Page: 42
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staff, adequately supported by technical and clerical staff, is critical to the endeavor" (AASL
Access to Staff
One of the most fundamental effects of staffing levels is the amount of access students
have to the library media center and its services. Gaver (1962) found that compared to
elementary students in a school without a centralized library and a library media specialist,
elementary students in a school with a library and a library media specialist are exposed to more
library-related activities from both the library media specialist and the classroom teacher. In
addition, these students have more access to materials and services within the classroom-an
indication of the far-reaching impact of professional staff. In a study of 94 school districts in
Michigan, Didier (1984) examined survey data from a statewide survey and found that at both
the fourth and seventh grade levels, a significant positive correlation existed between student
access to the library media center and the presence of library media specialists.
Loertscher and Land (1975) surveyed library media staff and principals from 199
Indiana elementary schools and followed up with visits to 32 of the schools to interview students
and teachers and determined that full-time library media specialists have the most liberal policies
in how many and what types of materials can be loaned to students. Furthermore, students with a
full-time media specialist receive "more assistance at a more constant rate than those with other
types of staff" (Loertscher & Land, 1975, 12), and "the full time media specialist does more to
promote reading through displays and exhibits than other media center personnel and these
efforts are noticed by teachers"(p. 12). Nearly thirty years later, a state-wide study in Indiana
reported full-time library media specialists involve over twice as many students and teachers in
major reading promotion activities than do part-time certificated staff or clerical library staff
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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/m1/56/?rotate=270: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .