A recent study of school libraries in New Jersey revealed that educators valued school libraries and teacher-librarians because they:
- place learning of all kinds, not just information literacy, as central to their mission;
- help teachers to push the boundaries, to take risks and innovate;
- shape school culture (e.g., enhance collaboration);
- offer choice of resources in a diversity of textual formats (e.g., support reading education and inquiry projects for diverse students);
- offer access to technology and digital resources (e.g., support 24/7 learning);
- bring people together, colleague-to-colleague and student-to-student.
Well-staffed, Well-stocked, Well-used
In and of itself, a school library is not sufficient for supporting and bringing about improvements in teaching and learning. Collaboration is crucial for sustaining educational change and improvement in schools, and the modern school library functions as both a catalyst and a support for change.