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Public Libraries’ Role in Preventing Summer Learning Loss


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Dr. Lili Luo attended the 2019 Asian Conference on Education and International Development, and delivered a presentation on how public libraries provide programs to help mitigate summer learning loss among k-12 students. She conducted content analysis of a large urban library’s program announcements to examine the types of programs provided during the summer that aim to engage children and teens.

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Public Libraries’ Role in Preventing Summer Learning Loss

  1. 1. Public Libraries’ Role in Preventing Summer Learning Loss Lili Luo School of Information San José State University
  2. 2. 2Educational Role of the Library
  3. 3. “In a society of lifelong learning - whether of a formal or informal nature- public libraries will be nodes connecting the local learning setting with the global resources of information and knowledge. ” - International Federation of Library Associations 4/10/2019 3
  4. 4. 4/10/2019 4 Summer Learning Loss
  5. 5. • Students score lower on the same standardized tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer. • For high school students, over 60% of the academic achievement gap in reading and language can be attributed to the learning loss that students experience during the summers of the primary school years. – Entwisle, D., Alexander, K., & Olson, L. 2000 4/10/2019 5
  6. 6. How do public libraries contribute to the prevention of summer learning loss? 4/10/2019 6
  7. 7. • Resources – print books, eBooks, audio-visual materials (CDs, DVDs), online resources (databases, eMagazines) • Facilities – spaces (children’s areas, teens’ space, group study rooms), computers, printers, whiteboards, projectors • Services – reference librarians • Programs – events/activities organized by the library 4/10/2019 7 Inside the Library
  8. 8. Study Design What programs do public libraries provide to mitigate summer learning loss? • Content analysis – Analyzing announcements of library programs for children and teens from Jun 1 to Aug 31, 2018 at San Jose Public Library, California, USA 4/10/2019 8
  9. 9. 4/10/2019 9 • Located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose is the largest city in Northern California. • Population - 1.04 million (34.2% Asian, 32.8% Hispanic, and 26.7% white) • K-12 Schools - 30,000 students in 41 schools
  10. 10. 4/10/2019 10 San Jose Public Library has 24 branches, serving the entire city of San Jose.
  11. 11. 4/10/2019 11 San Jose Public Library Programs for Teens and Kids in Summer 2018
  12. 12. • A total of 1741 announcements of programs for kids and teens from Jun 1 to Aug 31, 2018 • The programs were held across the 24 branches of San Jose Public Library • Program frequency – singular, serial, recurring • Program audience – kids, teens, families • Program type – nutrition assistance, STEM, tutoring, arts & crafts, reading, games, culture & language, and entertainment 4/10/2019 12 Preliminary Findings
  13. 13. Nutrition assistance • Free summer lunch program • Recurring program • For kids and teens 4/10/2019 13 “Kids and teens are welcomed to have a free lunch at our library during the summer (June 11 through August 10) from Mondays to Fridays starting at 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Meals are provided only for those 2-18 years of age.”
  14. 14. STEM • Programs aim to improve children and teens’ STEM interest, knowledge and skills. • Programs focus on programming/coding (the majority), science, math and engineering. 4/10/2019 14
  15. 15. 4/10/2019 15 “Go over mathematical concepts led by teen volunteers and keep your math skills sharp! Topics taught may include: Rational numbers; mean, median, mode, and range; Greatest Common Factor (GCF) and Least Common Multiple (LCM), and more! Please visit for more information. Intended for incoming 5th-7th graders (ages 10-13).” “Explore the fantastic lives of insects in this hands-on science activity! The Insect Discovery Lab will introduce you to the extraordinarily diverse world of insects and other arthropods and teach you about their key role in the web of life. For ages 4 and up.” “Children ages 8-12 are invited to this beginning coding program using Scratch. Participants will learn basic video game coding concepts by making different types of games, including racing, platform, launching, and more. This program is intended for children with little or no prior experience with coding. Pre- registration is required.”
  16. 16. Arts and crafts • Programs aim to engage kids and teens in creating arts and crafts projects. • Some programs are themed (e.g. celebrating father’s day). 4/10/2019 16 “Using Mangaka, a creative card game that encourages players to design an original comic over 4 rounds of frantic drawing, participants imagination and creativity will be put to the test! Each participant will be challenged to build an 8-panel original comic using randomly selected industry trends and themes. For Teens, ages 12 to 18.” “Show dad just how much you love him! Make a trophy and crown to honor dad for his special day! All materials provided. Recommended for ages 3 and up.”
  17. 17. Reading • Programs aim to keep kids and teens reading throughout the summer. • Programs include storytime, reading buddies, reading to furry friends, and summer reading program. 4/10/2019 17 “This program encourages children to practice reading through reading to therapy dogs. If your child loves dogs or if your child needs practice reading more, this is the perfect program for you. Children during the course of the hour will read to four to five different dogs trained to work with children. The dogs can be small or large. They can be a Saint Bernard or a little mixed poodle. Whatever the type of dog, the children enjoy reading to them. The children will receive an introduction to the dog, after they have finished reading to the dog. Come and join the fun..”
  18. 18. Tutoring • Programs provide tutoring for kids and teens on varying subjects. • Tutors are volunteers. 4/10/2019 18 “FREE Math tutoring by High School or College student volunteers. Improve your math skills and get higher grades! Top ~15% of students receive award from MUSD President Daniel Bobay. Open to any K-12 student.” “Does your child need to keep their mind sharp over the summer? At Edenvale Library, our Summer Skills Tutors are here to help. This in-house tutoring program is geared to help prevent summer slide in local students by providing reading, spelling, writing & math assistance for children in grades K-8 .”
  19. 19. Culture and language • Programs seek to expose kids and teens to different cultures in the world. 4/10/2019 19 “Sample snacks from around the world. Enjoy snacks from a different country each month, and test your knowledge about the featured country with a quiz! TeenHQ events are open for ages 12 to 18.” “An intermediate level class offered in Simplified Mandarin Chinese. The classes are intended for children 5-12 years old. It is suggested that students bring a binder/notebook and pencil or pen when attending the class.”
  20. 20. Games • Programs invite kids and teens to play games in the library. • Games include board games, card games, xBox RockBand, WII games, etc. 4/10/2019 20 “Get your game on every Wednesday after school in the teen room! Come hang out, meet people, play board games and wii games, or challenge the librarian to a game of Just Dance. Bring your friends.”
  21. 21. Entertainment • Programs provide entertainment for kids, teens and their family/friends through movies and performances. 4/10/2019 21 “A unique performance with soap bubbles which show various principles of mathematics, physics, and fun! Come watch Tom Noddy's performance in Bubble Magic and be prepared to see bubbles inside bubbles, inside other bubbles, and much, much more..” “Bring your friends or come and make new ones as we watch a movie. Popcorn and other refreshments will be served.”
  22. 22. • Reach out to your local library • Promote library programs among students before summer begins • Take students to public libraries for field trips • Invite librarians to speak at classrooms 4/10/2019 22 Implications for Educators
  23. 23. 23 Questions?