School Libraries Matter
Views from the Research
by Mirah J. Dow, Editor
June 2013, 173pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-61069-161-1
$50, £38, 42€, A72
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-162-8
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As school districts across the United States increasingly question the need for trained librarians, this collection of research-based evidence helps make the case for a state-licensed librarian in every school.

While serving on the AASL legislation committee, Mirah Dow recognized the urgent need to utilize research-based evidence to prove school librarians are much more than an educational luxury. This collection is the result. It brings together school library research studies and findings from the past decade and draws connections to how they can be applied to situations and questions that occur in practice. Taken as a whole, the research underscores that state-licensed, school librarians are a necessity for 21st-century students.

Chapters center on important research studies from the past decade that examine data and locate school libraries within operational contexts. Methodologies are explained and findings summarized, while notes clarify practical applications for school librarians. Because each chapter includes a connection to broad realms of theoretical influence in the social sciences, the work will also be relevant to educators and public policymakers, arming them to better communicate research-based links between investments in school libraries and student learning outcomes.


  • Utilizes evidence-based findings to explain why school libraries—and trained librarians—matter
  • Illustrates the progression of ideas around current education debates
  • Shares numerous examples of quantitative and qualitative research design and application
  • Summarizes the importance of each study and its practical application for working school librarians
Mirah J. Dow is associate professor in the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. She currently directs the doctoral program and was previously coordinator of the school library media program. Dow served on AASL's Legislation Committee for five years, two years as chair. Her published works include "Making Schools Better: School Librarians' Roles in Aggressive Reforms—What Is Our Official Position?" in Knowledge Quest, Journal of the American Association of School Librarians and both "School Librarians Teach Subject Area 10: Computer and Information Sciences" and "School Library Leadership at the University Level" in ABC-CLIO's School Library Monthly.


"Here it is all in one place—all the research studies showing School Libraries Matter: Views from the Research. . . . This is a good book to save for summer reading and sharing with administrators."—School Librarian's Workshop, February 18, 2014

"The summaries are well written and offer not only valuable research for librarians, but also examples of literature reviews for students of library science."—ARBA, August 1, 2013

"Each of the studies is relevant to building strong library programs, making this a book all school librarians, school library researchers, and graduate students in library programs should consider reading. It would also make an excellent textbook for an introductory school library course, as it introduces several key concepts to new scholars."—The Library Quarterly, January 1, 2015
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