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ERIC Number: ED504205
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 204
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
Second Evaluation of the Improving Literacy through School Libraries Program
Michie, Joan S.; Chaney, Bradford W.
US Department of Education
The Improving Literacy through School Libraries (LSL) program was established under Title I, Part B, Subpart 4 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The purpose of the program is to improve the literacy skills and academic achievement of students by providing them with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; a well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media center; and well-trained, professionally certified school library media specialists. Included in the legislation was a requirement for an evaluation of the program to be conducted no later than three years after the enactment of NCLB and biennially after that. This report provides findings from the first biennial evaluation, referenced as the second evaluation in the report. Specifically, this report provides findings on how grant funds are targeted to schools, uses of the grant funds, staff collaboration and professional development, and the relationship between participation in the program and reading achievement scores. The report analyzes data from a survey of school libraries, district performance reports, case studies and test scores. The study found that districts often reported selecting schools to participate in the grant based on various kinds of disadvantages at those schools such as lack of library resources, poverty level, and those identified for improvement under NCLB. Grantees roughly tripled their expenditures on books and subscriptions as well as computer hardware, while nongrantees showed little change. Before the grant, significantly fewer grantees considered their reading/English materials to be adequate or excellent compared with nongrantees. In contrast, during the grant year, significantly more of the grantees considered their overall reading/English literature, print materials, and computer software to be adequate or excellent compared with nongrantees. To the extent that libraries increased the hours they were open, one might expect that student use of the libraries would increase, for example, in the number of students using the libraries in a typical week or in the number of materials that were checked out. However, as in the first evaluation, grantees showed an increase in student usage of the libraries per week but no significant change in number of materials checked out. Grantees were more likely than nongrantees to report establishing new programs or expanding existing programs that involved collaboration between school library media specialists, teachers and administrators. No definitive statement can be made based on these data as to whether LSL was associated with improved test scores. The first chapter of this report contains a description of the LSL program and an overview of the evaluation. Because the LSL program infers a linkage between school libraries and literacy, a brief overview of the research on this topic is presented in the second chapter of this report. Evaluation results on the implementation of the program are shown in the third chapter, which examines how districts allocate program funds to schools, how schools allocate library funds, and how other outside support is found for literacy and libraries. The fourth chapter discusses what school-level changes were associated with participation in the LSL program. The evaluation explored many dimensions of a school library that might change through participation in the program, including resources available, extended hours, services offered, staffing, professional development, and collaboration with teachers. The fifth chapter provides the results of an analysis of the relationship of certain library characteristics and student test scores. The conclusions of the evaluation are contained in the sixth chapter of this report. Appended are detailed tables, methodology, school library questionnaire, district performance report, and case study protocols and summaries. (Contains 94 exhibits.)
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (ED), Policy and Program Studies Service
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001