Student Success and Library Media Programs: A Systems Approach to Research and Best Practice

Student Success and Library Media Programs: A Systems Approach to Research and Best Practice

Student Success and Library Media Programs: A Systems Approach to Research and Best Practice

Student Success and Library Media Programs: A Systems Approach to Research and Best Practice


Student success comprises a complex system of expectations and measurements. Designed for school library media specialists, this book focuses on library media programs and examines the factors that influence student achievement. Through a presentation of research trends and actual practice, award-winning author Lesley Farmer demonstrates how media specialists can encourage student achievement by creating an environment conducive to learning. Farmer takes a systems approach, illuminating how each stakeholder in a student's education contributes to and impacts student achievement.

Chapters include:

What Defines Student Achievement?

Research in the School Library World

Internal Factors: The School Library Media Program

School Factors Towards Student Achievement

Student Factors Towards Student Achievement

Societal Factors Towards Student Achievement

Focus on Reading: Who's a Good Reader?

Next Steps

In addition to research findings about library programming, Farmer examines collection resources, facilities, staffing, curricula, instruction, reading issues, services, products, and administration. Key research studies are cited throughout the work to optimize referral to relevant information. This is an invaluable guide for school library media specialists, as well as for faculty and students in LIS and education programs.


American education currently focuses on student achievement and preparation as a productive citizen. Part of this emphasis stems from economic need, part stems from a push for accountability and [bottom-line] thinking, and part stems from a commitment to strong education for and potential by all students. Regardless of the impetus, schools are finding themselves under great pressure to produce successful students.

However, the way success is defined and measured is a quandary. Recently, the [measuring stick] has been standardized, norm-reference tests focused on reading and mathematics. However, this type of assessment and the knowledge it measures reflects a very small sample of a student' s total set of skills, knowledges, and dispositions. To reduce student achievement to a few indicators is to reduce the student himor herself to a cardboard image. the phrase [student success] comprises a complex system of expectations and measurements, including a variety of constituents: students themselves, the school community, families, and the larger society.

Given the complex nature of student achievement, how does the school library media program contribute to the process? Do school libraries make a difference? That' s the fundamental question addressed in this book. Most school library media teachers would say unequivocally [yes,] but other members of the school community might disagree. Why? Because they do not know what school librarians do, and they don' t know how student achievement can be a result of the library media program.

Ask a tired school library media teacher at the end of the day, and what would you hear?

[Classes kept coming every period; I didn' t have a moment to sit down!]

[I got the Webliography on the Cold War posted just in time for Mr. Rivera' s class.]

[The printer jammed twice, a book shelf fell down, and the parent volunteer called in

[I finally got hold of the science department chair to put me on the department's
agenda to talk about resources for science fair projects.]

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