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Media Matters

Media Matters

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Media Matters

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  1. Media Matters “What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.” -Harold Howe, former U.S. Commissioner of Education

  2. The Media Program • In tough economic times, the media program may seem like an appropriate budgetary cut. • Some questions you may ask yourself: • Is it not an auxiliary program? • Does it draw in fans and sponsors like athletics or arts? • Are books not becoming obsolete? • How is the investment returned?

  3. Survey says… • The media program has a significant impact on academic achievement. • While multiple studies have been conducted to verify this statement, these are most often cited: • Dr. Keith Lance, Colorado, 1993 • Dr. Lance (follow-up), Colorado, Alaska, and Pennsylvania, 2000 • Dr. James Baughman (citing the Simmons study), Massachusetts, 2000

  4. Connections • Students at all three levels – elementary, middle, and high school – achieve higher scores on their standardized assessments when the school places high value on the media program. • Budget that supports a high quality program • Technology-rich environment • Opportunities for instruction and enrichment • Professional and support staff

  5. Supportive Budget • “Of all the expenditures that influence a school’s effectiveness…the level of expenditures for library and media services has the highest correlation with student achievement” (Baughman, 2000). • A well-developed media program helps level the playing field for lower income families, especially with: • High book count per pupil • High expenditure per pupil (print and nonprint) • Rich and up-to-date resources (print and nonprint)

  6. Technology-Rich Environment • Successful schools incorporate technology in their media centers. • Allows 24/7 access to resources • Expands the walls of the media center, pushing information into classrooms and homes • Provides opportunity for global learning • Makes easy access to a wealth of information the norm

  7. Instruction and Enrichment • High academic achievement was more prevalent when: • Information literacy was taught in conjunction with class curriculum • The collection is aligned with curricular frameworks • Reading for pleasure is promoted to the student body. • Student use is at a premium.

  8. Professional and Support Staff • Schools with high scores… • Had a full-time librarian, as well as support personnel • Utilized parent volunteers • Kept longer hours before and after school, which can only be accomplished with a full library staff • Allowed the librarian to be a leader in the school, collaborating with teachers and helping develop the school-wide curriculum

  9. Collaboration • When collaborating with the classroom teacher, the librarian should: • Be an integral part of planning instructional units • Identify materials for teacher use • Teach information literacy to students during the unit • Provide extra reading and information opportunities • In such collaborations, library media staff help raise student scores by: • Enhancing learning experiences • Building teacher effectiveness

  10. Teacher Leader • The librarian must be a leader in the school community. This can be done by: • Meeting regularly with administrators • Serving on standards and curriculum committees • Meeting with the library and school-wide staff to plan and evaluate the effectiveness of media program activities, specifically in their impact on student learning • Providing in-service training to teachers

  11. Information Power • In 1998, the American Association of School Librarians released Information Power, a book that outlines standards defining the librarian’s role in student learning. Among those listed are: • Collaboration • Serving as a leader in the schools • Incorporating technology • Information access and delivery • Connecting to the learning community

  12. Empowering Learners • In Empowering Learners, the AASL highlights the changing roles of the school library media specialist. These include: • Teacher: helping students become information literate • Leader: building 21st century skills in the entire school environment • Instructional partner: collaborating with teachers to align assignments to standards • Information specialist: teaching and modeling new forms of technology • Program administrator: designing the media program to meet the needs of the whole school community

  13. Why Media Matters • Administrators have to make decisions that will give them the most return for their investment. • Research shows that placing a high priority on the media program can result in a 10-20% rise in academic achievement, especially in scores on standardized testing. • Not providing high-quality media resources actually damages our students because we deprive them of opportunities for growth that may affect their future educational avenues.

  14. We Matter… • If you want to lead a successful school, you need the right people on your team and you need the right programs in place. • Media specialists are valuable contributors to the learning community – students, teachers, administrators, and parent. • The media program provides unique academic opportunities that students cannot experience in the classroom alone.

  15. Resources • American Association of School Librarians. (2009). Empowering learners: Guidelines for schoollibrary media programs. Chicago: American Library Association. • American Association of School Librarians. (1998). Information power: Building partnerships for learning. Chicago: American Library Association. • Baughman, J. (2000). School libraries and MCAS scores. Retrieved from schoollibraries/Baughman%20Paper.pdf • Callison, D. (1987). "Evaluator and educator: The school media specialist." TechTrends, 32(25). • Lance, K. & Loertscher, D. (2003). Powering achievement, 2nd edition: School library media programs make a difference.Retrieved from

  16. Pickard, P. (1993). Current research: The instructional consultant role of the school library media specialist. School Library Media Quarterly, 21(2). Retrieved from power/selctpickard • Weil, E. (2012). Meet your new school librarian. Retrieved from