Monday, December 16, 2013

College freshmen library study

This paper presents findings about challenges that college freshmen face when conducting research. It cites that the following misconceptions about academic libraries by college freshman "are likely to perpetuate as long as school libraries are underfunded, do not hire full time professional teacher- librarians, and, in some cases, are decommissioned." Some of these misconceptions are:
1. A very limited understanding of what the research process entails and how libraries could best help them.
2. For example, some freshmen we interviewed were surprised to learn help was available to them from reference librarians just by asking.
3. Others thought that everything a library owned was online so going to the academic library on campus was not necessary.

Head, A. (2013). Learning the ropes: How freshmen conduct course research once they enter college.Seattle: University of Washington.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Australian teacher librarian evidence-based practice research

This qualitative study of 15 Australian teacher librarians focused on their evidence-based practice. Their experience is holistic, and takes many forms: professional knowledge, observation, statistics, feedback, reflection. TLs tend to be flexible and adaptable in their approach, and are guided by intuition and reflection. They see diverse forms of information as evidence, and apply it to their environment. They also share their experiences as needed.
Gillespie, A. (2013). Untangling the evidence : Teacher librarians and evidence-based practice".
Queensland University of Technology

Monday, December 9, 2013

California Public School Parent Survey

A new statewide survey of more than 1,000 Californians with children in public schools provides a first detailed examination regarding how connected and involved parents are with their children's schools. The results of this survey are particularly timely given that parents are playing a greater role in providing input on how education funds are spent through California's new Local Control Funding Formula now being implemented in schools across the state.  Here is a brief summary:

“The survey revealed that while parents knew little about the new school funding law, they were overwhelmingly willing to participate in decisions about school budgets -- if they feel they would be heard. The survey also found distinct differences among high-income and low-income parents when it comes to evaluation of schools and levels of engagement. In addition to providing an important baseline for parent engagement in California, this information can help educators and other stakeholders better understand the obstacles to parent participation and improve their outreach as the state implements its new funding system.
EdSource. (2013). California Public School Parent Survey. Oakland: EdSource.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

School libraries impact studies

The H.J. Weinberg Foundation has compiled recent impact studies on school libraries into one handy document. It includes universal findings, syntheses of several topics (access, budget, staffing, technology, usage, instruction, etc.), and lists of research studies (by state) and associations.
Gretes,  F. (2013). School library impact studies: A revdiw of findings and guide to sources. Baltimore, MD: Weinberg Foundation.