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School Library System: Advocacy

School Librarians Make a Difference!

We all know that school librarians make a huge difference for student achievement and well-being, but sometimes you need the evidence. We've collected articles and impact studies so that you have them at your fingertips whenever you need them.

School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions


Published by the New York State Department of Education, this update to the 2011 Information Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement demonstrates the consistent positive impact that contributions from school librarians have on student achievement, and the value that they provide to students, teachers and the wider school community.

From the press release from the NY State Library:

The Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC)/RMC Research Corporation, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Library produced this new Informational Brief as an update to the 2011 publication Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement The breadth of scientific and academic literature about school libraries and the important roles that school librarians play in student achievement published since 2011 inspired the expanded scope of the 2019 Brief.

In this 2019 Brief, numerous research studies on student achievement highlight the ways in which school libraries and school librarians are invaluable and integral to the learning process - in the library, in the classroom, and beyond the school walls to the global community of learners. The Brief includes statewide impact studies conducted since 2011 and goes beyond to look at the evolving roles of school librarians in leading technology integration in schools, engaging students with disabilities, assisting students with the transition to college and career, in STEM education, and more.

The methodology of the Brief strategically explores the five roles of the school librarian recognized and defined by the American Association of School Libraries (AASL): teacher, leader, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator. By defining and outlining these roles and providing research showing the effectiveness of school librarians when placed in them, this Brief emphasizes not only the importance but the versatility of school librarians in assisting the learning process for students.

The Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) and the former the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC), both directed by the RMC Research Corporation, have worked with the New York State Education Department to support education leaders and encourage student achievement for over 25 years.

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government, and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 200 years. One of the nation's leading library development agencies and research libraries, the New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department and is located in Albany, New York. For more information about the New York State Library, visit: For more information about the New York State Education Department, visit:


Advocacy in a Pandemic

Articles that show the value of librarians

For more resources for teaching during the pandemic, see our Return to School 20-21 page.

The Vital Librarian

School Libraries Impact Studies & Articles



Statewide school library impact studies have been conducted in many U.S. states. A handful are listed below, starting with New York State.

Reports from other States:

The Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement: Exploring the School Library Impact Studies (2010)

Jamie Helgren, LRS Research Fellow, and Keith Curry Lance, consultant at RSL Research and former Director of the Library Research Service, discuss the impact of school libraries on student achievement in this seven part video series, produced by Sean Lamborne, LRS Research Fellow, in November 2010. View the videos below, or on Vimeo at

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