WLMA Action Research 2014

To provide answers for education advocates and lawmakers, WLMA is embarking on a new WSSLIT Data Report which will merge the WSSLIT survey data (below) with available Washington State education and social service/demographic data to demonstrate correlations on  the impact Washington state school library and information technology programs have upon student success. We are actively seeking funding support for that report and invite individual and organizational support via http://wlma.org/donations.  To find out more please contact Craig Seasholes  partners@wlma.org  for up to date information  on the project. 

A presentation and discussion of WSSLIT project was presented at our fall Conference session Friday Oct 3 1:15-2:15. The presentation is linked here

Key to any research is asking the right questions. Here are two that guide our project:

  • What data do state legislators and education decision makers need as evidence that school librarians should be included in mandatory staffing for all elementary and secondary schools?
  • What information would persuade district and school administrators that school librarians  and library budgets are critical to student success and important enough to include in their staffing budgets?

Good research builds on the work of many. Thanks to Dennis Small and Niquette Kelcher at OSPI for their work turning the initial work of Jennifer Fukutaki, Christie Kaaland and Craig Seasholes and seeing WSSLIT through the survey design, approval and distribution including Supt. Randy Dorn office. Thanks also to Dr. Betty Marcoux for crafting the summary of the survey below:

WSSLIT- WA State Survey of Library and Information Technology Programs 

In the spring of 2014, theOffice of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)and theWashington State Library Media Association (WLMA)produced a survey regarding the state of school libraries throughout the state of Washington.  Some interesting results that came from this work are the following:

·      Full-time certified professionals in the school library are approximately 61%, a number largely unchanged from the previous year. However, the decreases in part-time assistance and volunteer work in the school library is noted as different this year.  Also, many school libraries report being used for more than customary school library business more often this year.

·      There was a large consensus reporting that to date fiction print resources better met the needs of students than the non-fiction print resources.

·      Access to the school library catalog remotely is high (86%).  Only 3% of the school libraries reporting do not have computers in their facility.

·      Budget issues continue to be a concern.  This year many reported diminished budgets.

·      Scheduling and curricula of the school library were discussed, with fixed scheduling or a mixture of fixed & flexible being most commonly reported. 

·      Skill demands of the teacher librarian involved more collaboration with the classroom teacher as well as indication that the teacher librarian is most sought after by the classroom teacher when location and use skills as well as readiness skills are asked for.

·      The Common Core state standards (CCSS) are highly a part of most school library work.  The teacher librarians tend to not only know these standards, but work with them for implementation and instruction.

The WSSLIT or  "Washington State School Library and Information Technology Survey” was distributed from the office of the Superintendent, forwarded and tracked by WLMA volunteers and completed on April 22, 2014. With 1483 school buildings reporting, the survey results are available as asummary with graphs here, and as a spreadsheet of results more useful for sorting and comparison. The survey is linked here and PDF of survey questions. are still available online.

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