In October 2013 the Scottish Library and Information Council commissioned Professor Dorothy Williams from the Institute of Management, Governance and Society (IMaGeS) at Robert Gordon University to review the impact of school libraries on learning.
The report aimed to both identify and critically evaluate the effect of school libraries, using UK and international evidence from 2001 onwards linking school libraries to educational achievement, attainment and learning in secondary education.
The main objectives were to:
- Identify, evaluate and summarise evidence (in relation to a number of key questions identified by SLIC)
- Assess the applicability of the findings in relation to the Curriculum for Excellence
- Identify gaps in the evidence and suggest areas for further research
The findings revealed that school libraries have a considerable impact on learning. In particular, evidence suggest that school libraries could support:
- Higher test or exam scores equating to academic attainment.
- Successful curriculum or learning outcomes.
- Positive attitudes towards learning.
The report also identified key elements within school libraries which contributed to these positive outcomes. This included:
- The presence of a qualified, full-time librarian
- Support staff who could undertake routine tasks
- A library which supported both physical and virtual access
The report not only shows the significance of school libraries in 21st century Scotland, it is also valuable resource for school librarians, schools and Local Authority decision makers when planning future school library provision.
You can read the full report by clicking on the link below or contact SLIC to receive a hard copy.