Saturday, January 14, 2012

Library access research

Three multivariate analyses, all controlling for the effects of poverty, confirm the importance of the library. Replicating McQuillan’s analysis of 1992 NAEP scores, access to books in school and public libraries was a significant predictor of 2007 fourth grade NAEP reading scores, as well as the difference between grade 4 and grade 8 2007 NAEP reading scores, suggesting that access is important for improvement after grade 4. Access (school/classroom libraries) was a significant predictor of scores on the PIRLS test, a reading test given to fourth graders in 40 countries.

In some of the analyses, access to books had a larger impact on reading achievement test scores than poverty, and in other cases had nearly as strong an impact. This suggests that providing more access to books can mitigate the effect of poverty on reading achievement, a conclusion consistent with other recent results. This result is of enormous practical importance: Children of poverty typically have little access to books. It seems that libraries can provide this access.

Stephen Krashen, Syying Lee, and Jeff McQuillan . (2012). Is The Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level.

No comments: