Student Success

The Changing Role of School Librarians

(Courtesy Vancouver Public Schools)

Schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian ensure their students have the best chance to succeed. More than 60 education and library research studies have produced clear evidence that school library programs staffed by qualified school librarians have a positive impact on student academic achievement. These studies clearly demonstrate that strong school library programs help all students do better academically, even when other school variables are considered. Students who don’t speak English at home can be among those who benefit the most.

  • School library programs foster critical thinking, providing students with the skills they need to analyze, form, and communicate ideas in compelling ways.
  • School libraries are places of opportunity. They are learning hubs and homework help centers where students use technology and the latest information resources, preparing them to succeed in our global, competitive economy and the ever-evolving workplace.
  • Strong school library programs instill confidence in reading in multiple formats, which is fundamental to learning, personal growth and enjoyment.
  • School libraries foster a safe and nurturing climate during the day and before and after school. They are often the one place in the school that is open to all students, and where a school librarian cares and can support students across grade levels and subject matter. 

Certified school librarians make the whole school more effective. They teach students how to learn and help teachers drive student success.

  • School librarians work with every student in the school, teaching them to think critically, providing the resources and support learners need in school and beyond, and nurturing their creativity.
  • They are essential partners for all teachers, providing print and digital materials that meet diverse needs and collaborating to deepen student learning.
  • They are leaders in the school, helping to develop curriculum and representing the learning needs of all students and teachers.
  • School librarians connect other educators to current trends and resources for teaching and learning.

For videos about impact studies and their results go here.

To read more about results of impact studies, go here.

For a summary of the studies, go here.

Magazine cover: School Libraries Transform This new digital magazine produced by AASL in partnership with American Libraries, is designed to be shared with parents, colleagues, administration, and policymakers. Available electronically or as a PDF download, this tool can open the door to discussions on the multiple ways school libraries transform learning.