Jeffus pointed to a paper published in 2008 by a University of North Texas researcher who found a correlation between California schools with devoted librarians and students with higher test scores. The study controlled for some income-related factors, including the level of education of the students’ parents and the proportion of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch. The strongest pattern was found in high school students, where higher test scores correlated with the extent of the library services offered.
In this book, which is among our best of 2011, Ms. Foreman personally names and thanks over 200 library, archives, and special collections staff members from around the world who helped her and her assistants with access to materials over the course of several years.
Librarian Lauren Smedley has a broad vision of what public libraries can be to their patrons, and she's putting that vision to the test with changes at her own, the Fayetteville Free Library in central New York. The library — which is fittingly housed in a former furniture factory — is getting a Fab Lab to encourage makers and hackers, and will include equipment such as a MakerBot, a CNC router, and a laser cutter.
While they help us get online, employed and informed, librarians don't try to sell us anything. Nor do they turn around and broadcast our problems, send us spam or keep a record of our interests and needs, because no matter how savvy this profession is at navigating the online world, it clings to that old-fashioned value, privacy. (A profession dedicated to privacy in charge of our public computers? That's brilliant.)
The modern librarian is a social networking guru as well as a research specialist. Like many of us, they've grown up with Google and Wikipedia and every blog and online journal in existence, so they know how to navigate the online world, while also providing the services the library has always offered.