Last week, in another post, I discussed to importance of relying on data rather than intuition when we make decisions for our classrooms, for our campuses, and for our libraries. It is essential for educators to consider practices and programs in light of current, relevant research if we want to be as effective and impactful as we can be.
Two sources publishing peer-reviewed research related to library science are School Library Research and Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. As a part of my course work in INFO 5345, I have examined the two sources below.
Selection and Publication Process
School Library Research (SLR)
Editorial board members develop policies and regulations for review and publication of articles. Articles must be reviewed by the board prior to publication. Interested parties may submit original, researched based manuscripts using the submission form on the AASL website. SLR includes a thorough list of guidelines for submissions.
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Researchers may submit work throughout the year, and the journal publishes quarterly. EBLIP works to review and decide on publication within three months of submission. All work is subject to double blind peer review, and then submitted finally to an editor. EBLIP welcomes submissions across the field, and unlike SLR is not focused on solely on school librarianship.
SLR is the research journal for the well known and widely respected American Association of School Libraries. The editorial board is comprised of fifteen highly qualified individuals holding advanced degrees and representing universities across the country.
The EBLIP team includes an expansive list of editors, copywriters, and assistants holding advanced degrees and representing universities from across the United States and Canada. The journal has been a credible source since 2006, and relies on a double blind review process, adhering to review guidelines.
Topics of Interest
SLR has an editor’s choice list of articles which the Board has chosen as particularly innovative. From these articles, I am specifically interested in two studies focusing on successful flexible scheduling of the library program: McGregor’s 2006 study Shannon’s work from 1996.
I have spent the last ten years of my career teaching on an elementary campus, and most of that time, the school library has been a part of a fixed schedule, integrated into the co-curricular rotation along with fine arts and physical education. This year, due to a drop in enrollment, the library has been able to leave the rotation for kindergarten through second grade, and has begun to operate under a flexible schedule for half of the day. This is a cultural change at our campus, but at this point, most of the library programs in our district are on a flexible schedule. If I hope to work as a librarian in my school district, it is important that I learn as much as I can about how to successfully work in this model.
EBLIP has also published articles related to flexible scheduling including Medaille’s 2011 study examining the relationship between flexible scheduling and library circulation. As our district reevaluates best practices for the library program, and our campus considers the success of the newly implemented flexible schedule, it is important to use data to support the transition. This article, in combination with circulation data from our own campus, may help administrators decide if the transition has made the desired a positive impact.
McGregor, J. (2006). Flexible scheduling: Implementing an innovation. School Library Media Research, 9, 1-34.
Medaille, A. (2011). Flexible scheduling may have a positive impact on school library circulation. Evidence Based Library & Information Practice, 6(1), 64-67. https://doi.org/10.18438/B8MG86
Shannon, D. M. (1996). Tracking the transition to a flexible access library program in two library power elementary schools (in central Kentucky). School Library Media Quarterly, 24(3), 158-163.