By Deborah Rinio
Like any field, research into school libraries helps inform librarians on the newest trends, methodologies, and thinking around school library practice. Trade publications such as School Library Journal and Voice of Youth Advocates contain articles and advice from practitioners and are definitely useful, but they rarely contain research reports and are not peer-reviewed.
Taking the time to read the newest research can help school librarians improve their teaching, management, and advocacy by exploring the newest trends and methods in the field. For example, an article on guided inquiry in School Library Journal might focus on the how of the approach; whereas an article on the same topic in School Library Research will explore not only the how, but the why, and the resulting data from the researcher’s study. This additional information can be used by the school librarian in applying the approach to their own circumstance, as well as making a case for the approach to teachers and administrators.
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