Differential Access to Books and School Librarians in Pennsylvania

While there is not voluminous evidence about the relationship between access to librarians and student achievement, the extant research does suggest a positive relationship such that students that have access to a school library staffed by a qualified librarian tend to have greater achievement as well as growth in achievement, even after controlling for other factors (Krashen, Lee, & McQuillan, 2012; Lance, & Hofschire, 2012; Lonsdale, 2003; Subramaniam, Ahn, Waugh, Taylor, Druin, Fleischmann, & Walsh, 2015). Moreover, this finding is strongest for students living in poverty since they tend to have less access to books at home and increasingly have less access to books through public libraries (Krashen, 2010; Park & Yau, 2014; Pribesh, Gavigan, & Dickinson, 2011). Further, Constantino (2005) notes that many students in affluent communities have access to more books than students living in poverty have access to through all sources in aggregate. Finally, access to libraries and librarians has also been found to be positively associated with children engaging with literature, developing hobbies, and developing social skills (Jones, 2009).

In the study attached below, I examine access to books at home and access to school librarians for Black, Hispanic, and White students in Pennsylvania.

CEEPA White Paper 2017-3_Access to Librarians in Pennsylvania by Student Race

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