Researching education: 5 further readings on school libraries

Welcome to Researching education: 5 further readings. In this series, we take a look at some further readings available on a particular topic, including open access research papers from various online databases, and Teacher archive content you might not have come across yet.

In this edition, we’re sharing 5 pieces of content on the topic of school libraries. In the resources below, you can read more on the important role school libraries (and teacher librarians) play in student learning and curiosity – including the results of a survey on teen reading habits, a curated list of books that promote sustainable ideas, and a study into academic integrity and copyright literacy in K-12 schools.

  1. Discovering a good read: Exploring book discovery and reading for pleasure among Australian teens [PDF 5.7MB]. Schools and librarians play a crucial role in fostering and nurturing a love of reading in students. This survey, led by Associate Professor Leonie Rutherford, Professor Michael Dezuanni, Professor Katya Johanson, and Professor Andrew Singleton, provides an overview of how many students actually spend their free time reading, what books they are enjoying, where they get their recommendations from, and more. A great resource for librarians looking to foster a love for reading in students.

  2. ‘Being a Global Citizen’: Australian Secondary Teacher Librarians in the Changing Information Landscape. Teacher Librarians (TLs) play a central role in developing students’ information literacy capabilities, which are vital for effective participation in formal education and active engagement in society. Dr Kay Oddone and Dr Kasey L. Garrison’s research enhances insights into information literacy instruction in Australian secondary schools, by investigating the perceptions of practicing TLs regarding the information literacy needs of teachers and students.

  3. Curate, advocate, collaborate: Updating a school library collection to promote sustainability and counter eco-anxiety [PDF 3.5MB]. In this article, Teacher Librarian Pooja Mathur highlights the role TLs can play in promoting the cross-curriculum priority of sustainability. Mathur stresses the need to procure resources in multiple formats and delivery modes that ensure the engagement of all students in the topic of sustainability and climate change. She also provides a curated list of, predominantly Australian, texts that support and promote sustainable ideas.

  4. Academic integrity and copyright literacy policy and instruction in K-12 schools: A global study from the perspective of school library professionals [PDF 1.19MB]. This study examined the policies and instructional practices related to academic integrity and copyright literacy in K-12 schools through the lens of school library professionals. The results revealed that many K-12 schools lack policies on academic integrity and copyright, and there is variability in the perceived value, implementation and teaching of these literacies. It noted that while most school library professionals reported teaching academic integrity and copyright literacy in their schools, implementing effective pedagogies remains challenging.

  5. The 2023 Softlink Australian School Library Survey Report [PDF 846KB]. Since 2010, the School Library Report has examined key trends and topics impacting library staff and services. The results help to advocate the role of school libraries and library professionals to education decision makers, as well as through industry associations and networks. In the 2023 report, you can find data and analysis on various aspects of school libraries, such as staffing, digital resources and trends.

Some of the resources featured in this article can be found through the Cunningham Library Catalogue or at EdResearch Online. At the links below, you can search for more resources on the topic of school libraries in these 2 online databases.

School libraries: Cunningham Library Catalogue

School libraries: EdResearch Online

The Cunningham Library membership is open to individuals, schools and organisations. Membership includes access to a comprehensive collection of education research literature; weekday alerts to a selection of Australian education news; fast supply of articles and books from the collection; support in finding research; and an integrated online search tool that works across all our resources. To become a library member, visit the website.

You can also access a database of reports, books, papers and other resources from 1900 to the present day, designed to build knowledge about, and research capacity in, Australian and New Zealand teacher librarianship at The Knowledge Bank of Australian and New Zealand School Libraries (KBANZSL)