Open Access Graduate Research Paper
School librarians--Iowa--Statistics; School libraries--Iowa--Statistics;
The purpose of this study is to explore the Iowa School Library Survey data at ten year intervals to describe differences in professional teacher librarian staffing levels, time spent supporting reading guidance, and time spent in collaboration with other teachers. Raw data was examined from the 2003-2004 and 2013-2014 School Library Surveys. Although 1034 surveys were completed in 2003-2004, and 681 were completed in 2013- 2014, this study only analyzed data for the 339 schools with accurate entry both years. The researcher verified data through a process of close reading and comparison across multiple factors eliminating responses with incomplete or incorrect data entry until only accurate data remained. The average hours and percent of time spent by teacher librarians on the tasks of reading guidance and collaboration for these years was then calculated.
The average teacher librarian (TL) hours assigned per school during 2003-2004 was 25.7 and decreased to 18.8 during the 2013-2014 school year; while the amount of time spent performing extra duties also decreased from .9 in 2003-2004 to .7 in 2013- 2014. There were three questions from the survey used to analyze collaboration by average hours per week and percent of the TL weekly time per school: identifying materials and planning decreased from 2.1 hours (8.3% time) in 2003-2004 to 1.5 hours (7.9% time) in 2013-2014; teaching students cooperatively decreased from 2.1 hours to 1.7, however the percent of time increased from 8.4% to 9.1%; and providing information skills instruction to students decreased as well from 4.8 hours (18.7% time) to 3.1 hours (16.5% time). One extra question in 2013-2014 was about teaching appropriate uses of technology. The average time spent in 2013-2014 was 1.4 hours (8.2% time). Thus, the teacher librarian weekly staffing level per building clearly decreased across schools, yet within the fewer hours assigned per building, TLs’ total percent of time spent as a collaborative partner increased from 35.4% in 2003-2004 to 41.7% of TL weekly hours in 2013-2014. Two final questions from the school library survey were analyzed for the average time spent providing reading guidance: the average hours per week reported in 2003-2004 was 2.7 (10.6% time), and this decreased to 2.2 hours during the 2013-2014 school year, but increased to 11.7% time. Although the increased percent of TL time spent on reading guidance is positive, the decreased average TL hours per school, along with the increase of average enrollment from 400 students in 2003-2004 to 414 in 2013- 2014, resulted in a decrease from .008 to .006 hours per week per student. This equates to less than 1 minute per week per student to provide guidance in reading choices. In conclusion, teacher librarians in this sample of schools with complete survey responses for both years are devoting a larger percent of time to the instructional and collaborative areas analyzed in this study, however they have less time on average per school, which leads to less time available to help students overall.
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Division of School Library Studies
1 PDF file (36 pages)
©2015 Emily Baltes
Baltes, Emily, "The 21st century school teacher librarian: Trends in the Iowa school library survey data over the last decade" (2015). Graduate Research Papers. 96.