School libraries and student achievement in Ontario

pdf 467 kb Published 2006

People for Education and Ontario Library Association, 2006.

This study used Ontario data to look at the relationship between library staff and resources, and students’ achievement and attitude towards literacy.

People for Education collaborated with a Queen’s University Faculty of Education team, to examine data from two sources: the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) 2004/05 grades 3 and 6 reading test scores and attitudinal information, and People for Education’s 2004/05 Tracking results for school library staffing, hours open, collections, and fundraising.

This data was correlated on a school-by-school basis to examine whether a link existed between higher student achievement on provincial tests and school library staff and resources.

We have highlighted the results that have possible policy implications, and have focused on results that involve trained library staff. Among the findings:

  • Grade 3 and 6 students in schools with teacher-librarians are more likely to report that they enjoy reading.
  • Schools with trained library staff are more likely to have a higher proportion of grade 6 students who attained level 3* or higher on reading tests.
  • Schools without trained library staff tend to have lower achievement on the grades 3 and 6 reading tests (both in terms of average achievement and attaining level 3 or higher).