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Characteristics of Public and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary School Library Media Centers in the United States:
NCES 2009-322
June 2009

Selected Findings

  • In the 2007–08 school year, 80,100 of the 87,190 traditional public schools had a library media center, while 1,820 of the 3,560 public charter schools had one. Of the 180 BIE-funded schools 160 had a library media center (table 1).

  • The majority of all public school library media centers had at least one full-time, paid, state-certified library media center specialist (62 percent). Additionally, 11 percent had no full-time and at least one part-time, paid, state-certified library media center specialist and 27 percent had no full-time or part-time, paid, state-certified library media center specialists (table 2).

  • In traditional public schools, 57 percent of paid professional library media center staff had a master's degree in a library-related major, which is a higher percentage than in public charter schools (29 percent) and BIE-funded schools (27 percent) (table 3).

  • During the 2006–07 school year, BIE-funded library media centers spent an average of $7,800 on books, traditional public school library media centers spent an average of $6,630 on books, and public charter school library media centers spent an average of $6,210 on books (table 4).

  • Technology to assist students and staff with disabilities existed in 24 percent of traditional public school library media centers and in 21 percent of public charter school library media centers. About 18 percent of BIE-funded school library media centers had technology to assist students and staff with disabilities (table 5).

  • About 97 percent of library media centers in traditional public schools, 88 percent in public charter schools, and 92 percent in BIE-funded schools had computer workstations (table 6).

  • Ninety-eight percent of all public school library media centers had space for a full class of students at one time; of these library media centers, 82 percent could accommodate other activities concurrent with a full class (table 7).

  • Thirteen percent of public school library media centers in rural areas and 9 percent of public school library media centers in each of the other three community types (cities, suburbs, towns) had been used as a classroom due to classroom shortage during the most recent full week of school (table 8).

  • Family literacy activities were supported by 53 percent of BIE-funded school library media centers, 42 percent of traditional public school library media centers, and 33 percent of public charter school library media centers (table 9).

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