In October 2013 the Scottish Library and Information Council commissioned Professor Dorothy Williams from the Institute of Management, Governance and Society (IMaGeS) at Robert Gordon University to review the impact of school libraries on learning.
The Impact of School Libraries on Learning Report aimed to both identify and critically evaluate the effect of school libraries. It used both UK and international evidence from 2001 onwards, linking school libraries to educational achievement, attainment and learning in secondary education.
The main objectives were to:
- Identify, evaluate and summarise evidence
- Assess the applicability of the findings in relation to Curriculum for Excellence
- Identify gaps in the evidence and suggest areas for further research
The findings revealed that school libraries have a considerable impact on learning. In particular, evidence suggests school libraries could support:
- Higher test or exam scores equating to academic attainment
- Successful curriculum or learning outcomes
- Positive attitudes towards learning
It also identified key elements within school libraries which contributed to these positive outcomes. This included:
- The presence of a qualified, full-time librarian
- Support staff who could undertake routine tasks
- A library which supported both physical and virtual access
The report not only shows the significance of school libraries in 21st century Scotland, but also how much of a valuable resource they are.