School Library Research

The Crisis in School Libraries


Since the early 1990s, school libraries have continued to erode; each year more school boards must make the difficult decision to reduce proper staffing in the school library and to cut back or stop the purchasing of school library resources. This decline is having a direct negative impact on student achievement and reading engagement. Students who are in schools without a staffed and resourced library program are not receiving the same education as students who have school libraries.

A properly resourced school library program includes a teacher librarian with library qualifications, a library technician, support staff, access to a robust digital media centre and e-resources, and a current book collection.


Library Impact Research



Exemplary School Libraries in Ontario (pdf)
A Study by Queen's University and People For Education. Published by the Ontario Library Association.
This project identifies characteristics of an exemplary elementary school library that supports educational outcomes of the school.




School Libraries and Student Achievement in Ontario (pdf)
A Study by Queen's University and People for Education. Published by the Ontario Library Association
An analysis of the the relationship between student achievement and library resources and staff.


Learn more:


People for Education Research

People for Education is an independent organization working to support public education in Ontario’s English, Catholic and French schools. They conduct an annual survey of schools that includes tracking information about school libraries.
 
Reading for Joy - 2011(pdf)
Libraries and teacher-librarians affect students’ enjoyment of reading. This information brief looks at the correlation between the decline of reading enjoyment and the decline of teacher-librarians in schools.



Connecting to success: Technology in Ontario Schools - People for Education - 2019
This report, based on the results from People for Education's Annual Ontario School Survey, looks at the use of technology in today's schools, including BYOD policies, e-learning, access to technology, and the role of school libraries.


For past studies

  • 2017 (pdf)
  • 2016 (pdf)
  • 2015 (see page 10 - pdf)
  • 2013 (see page 5 - pdf)


School Library Standards:


Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada – 2014 (pdf)
Presents a model for the development and implementation of the school library as a library learning commons. It provides educators with a common set of standards of practice for moving forward.





Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons. A Vision for the 21st Century – 2010 (English - pdf and French - pdf)







Achieving Information Literacy – Standards for School Library Programs in Canada – 2003 (pdf)

This standards handbook provides guidance for the development of school library programs that will support students as they take their place in a learning society. This handbook has been prepared by the Canadian Association for School Libraries. It is designed to be used by parents, teachers, teacher-librarians, and administrators.




The Ontario School Library Impact Project

Initiated in 2018, the purpose of the Ontario School Library Impact Project is to conduct a research study that investigates the impact of secondary school libraries on the development of key information literacy skills in students entering post-secondary education.

Visit the OSLIP committee page to learn more about this project and their latest initiatives.

Learn more: