The 2013 Australian School Library Survey, conducted by Softlink on behalf of Australia’s school library associations, has again revealed a positive relationship between a school’s literacy results and its library’s resourcing levels, the company announced today. As it has since 2010, the annual survey found that schools with high national average reading literacy scores for its students report higher levels of school library funding and staffing, while schools with lower scores have lower library funding and staffing.
The study is an examination of key trends and issues impacting school libraries across Australia, especially the ways that a school library’s budget and staffing levels influence students’ overall academic achievement and literacy levels. The study includes primary, secondary and K–12 school libraries, with representation from public, private, and parochial schools among the respondents.
The survey also found that:
• Approximately 28 percent of schools’ library staffing levels decreased in 2013, while 63 percent of all schools’ staffing levels remained unchanged.
• More than a quarter of surveyed schools (28 percent) have purchased ebooks in the past year, and 55 percent indicate they will “definitely” or “most probably” purchase ebooks within the next 12 months.
• Approximately 44 percent of teacher librarians say half or more of their student population owns a personal mobile device (iPod, iPad, smart phone, or other tablet).
• Up to a third of all schools encourage students to bring their own digital devices for use at school.
More than 800 schools participated in the study, according to Softlink’s COO Nathan Godfrey.