Great school libraries in Aotearoa: A qualitative study Publications
This report, which is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and SLANZA, aims to highlight the positive impact a well-supported library can have for learners and the wider school community.
Author(s): Ministry of Education and School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA)
Date Published: June 2022
This report seeks to identify how libraries and librarians support students to develop their reading literacy in an Aotearoa New Zealand context. In particular, this includes:
- What types of outcomes a successful school library can deliver for New Zealand learners
- How libraries deliver excellent outcomes for learners in different schooling contexts
- How school libraries can be supported by principals, school management and boards of trustees
The Ministry conducted online interviews with librarians, principals and students across 13 schools identified by SLANZA as having ‘successful school libraries’. The schools are all state or state-integrated and vary by region, decile, type and size. (See list of participating schools in appendix 1.)
Principals and librarians were asked about the role of the library and library staff in the school and community, and how the library was supported by school management. Students were asked what they valued about their school libraries. At each school, we also interviewed two teachers to gain a teachers’ perspective. All interview questions can be found in appendix 2. Interview responses were sorted under themes to identify commonalities in the outcomes the libraries delivered, how these outcomes were achieved, and the support principals and boards of trustees provided that enabled these outcomes.
In regard to the outcomes from having a successful school library, the common themes among interviewees, including librarians, students, teachers and principals, were as follows:
- Improved reading, writing and digital literacy
- Development of research skills
- Development of knowledge beyond academic learning such as leadership, mentoring and other skills
- A sense of wellbeing, belonging and community amongst students.
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