Evaluating the Impact of the School Library Resource Center on Learning

By Williams, Dorothy; Wavell, Caroline | School Libraries Worldwide, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Evaluating the Impact of the School Library Resource Center on Learning


Williams, Dorothy, Wavell, Caroline, School Libraries Worldwide


Of Special Interest

This research project, funded by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries in the United Kingdom, investigated the impact of the school library resource center (SLRC) on learning, first, by looking at what teachers, students and librarians perceived to be the learning experiences taking place in this environment and, second, by examining specific examples of SLRC activity to identify whether this learning was indeed happening and how it might be monitored. The evidence of this research is that the potential to impact on learning goes well beyond impact on information handling skills. The article explores the challenges of the SLRC and offers some recommendations for those seeking to evaluate the impact of their own SLRC on learning.

Introduction

The school library resource center (SLRC) has been recognized as having a key role in supporting information and communication technology (ICT) initiatives and the development of the skills required to extract and to use information effectively. Recent government initiatives in the United Kingdom to raise educational standards, encourage social inclusion, and introduce information technology throughout the curriculum have led to a shift in emphasis toward the development of core skills to enable students to learn independently, both in the school environment and beyond. Similar developments have been taking place in other countries, and the research project discussed in this article has widespread implications.

Alongside these educational developments, local authorities in the UK, including educational establishments and public libraries, are required to demonstrate public accountability in terms of service to clients and value for money. The increased expenditure on technology, as well as the traditional hard copy resources in the SLRC, has prompted a need for improved quality assurance. The school library profession has embraced this and, in Scotland, performance measurement has been integrated into the system used by the school as a whole. Traditional evaluation of a library service has looked at outputs in terms of statistical information relating to expenditure, resources, and use. However, the emphasis in recent guidelines on evaluation of the SLRC is on service outcomes and the qualitative approach to evaluation that this entails. For example, one of the performance indicators in the Scottish schools' quality assurance document (HMI Audit Unit, 1996) and the SLRC equivalent (SOEID/SCCC/SLA/SLIC, 1999) is the "quality of pupils' learning." This is an area that librarians have found difficult to tackle, especially as the literature hints at the need for a critical look at the learning without giving clear guidelines on how to achieve this on a practical level. (Librarians in Scottish schools are professionally qualified as librarians, rather than holding a dual qualification in teaching and librarianship.) Teachers understand the need to encourage use of the SLRC and its resources through the curriculum and to develop independence beyond the classroom, but do not necessarily place sufficient emphasis on the skills required to ensure the SLRC can contribute most effectively to student learning.

These issues form a backdrop for research that has recently been completed at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. The research examined the impact of the SLRC on learning. The study complements the work already undertaken in the United States where Lance, Welborn, and HamiltonPennellet (1993, 1999, 2000a, 2000b) have linked the provision of a SLRC to academic achievement. The study also complements work reported in the theme issue of School Libraries Worldwide (Hopkins & Zweizig, 1999) in which the evaluation team of the Library Power initiative connect improvements in the quality of provision of service with greater opportunities for students to develop information handling skills through an integrated approach to inquiry. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Evaluating the Impact of the School Library Resource Center on Learning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.