School libraries were designed to provide equitable access to reading and research materials for all students. Over the past few decades, staffing of school libraries has become a controversial topic as school leaders opt to eliminate school librarians due to budget constraints. Consequently, there is staffing variability in school libraries. Research indicates that a school librarian is a critical component of a successful school library program. Despite this, some schools with staffing variability in the school library are finding ways to implement an effective school library media program. This research study examined effective school library pedagogical practices in elementary school libraries where there was staffing variability. The study took place in a large urban school district and sought to understand the role of the school library in a school's comprehensive literacy program. Using a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach data were collected during two phases. During the first phase of the study, 30 participants responded to survey questions that consisted of seven construct variables which are indicators of an effective library media program. During the second phase of the study, ten participants engaged in semi-structured interviews that consisted of questions following an Appreciative Inquiry approach. This approach allowed the researcher to identify what is working well within the district. Several barriers to the implementation of an effective school library program also surfaced. The analysis of the data revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in how school principals and library staff responded to the survey questions. Additionally, there was no statistically significant difference in how participants from Title I schools responded when compared to participants from non-Title I schools. Survey data was analyzed to identify effective pedagogical practices in elementary school libraries. Thematic analysis of interview data expounded on those effective practices in elementary school libraries. This study provides guidance for district leaders and school principals seeking to implement an effective school library program and insight into how the library program can contribute to the school's comprehensive literacy program. The findings can guide future research on effective school library pedagogical practices in the field of public education and school libraries.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Learning Sciences and Educational Research
Curriculum and Instruction
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Scanlan, Maureen, "Effective Pedagogical Practices in Elementary School Libraries: An Appreciative Inquiry Approach" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 283.