Relationships between public libraries and school library media centers (LMCs) are somewhat difficult to observe and assess. Consequently, distinguishing between the effects of public libraries and school LMCs on children’s performance in school is problematic. Several recent issues of FAST FACTS have presented evidence of the contributions of LMCs alone and their collaboration with public libraries.
The latest data available for both Colorado (1997) and the United States (1994) indicates that public libraries themselves contribute to academic achievement.
- In Colorado school districts scoring in the highest third on the 1997 CSAP reading test, circulation of children’s materials per capita by public libraries was 50 percent higher than in school districts scoring in the lowest third.
- Similarly, in states scoring in the highest third on the 1994 NAEP reading test, circulation of children’s materials per capita by public libraries was more than a third higher than in states scoring in the lowest third.
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