Monday, April 23, 2012

Update on School Library Data Survey

Here's the latest info about the state data survey. I called interested parties to double check the facts, so things should be accurate and up to date.

1. The school library data survey, which was once part of the state library system, was, several years ago, given to the Iowa Department of Education. Since then, it was moved to Great Prairie AEA.

2. Prior years surveys are available AT THIS SITE.

3. The survey will not be given this year. However, the 2010 - 2011 data summary has been completed, and may be posted on-line shortly at the above site. Unlike previous years, when the raw data has been posted, only the summary may be available this year.

4. If you desire access to the complete data set, which I do because it allows me to compare my library to school libraries I know are similar AND it helps me learn about other libraries close to me, you can email Deb Hindman at the State Department of Education. Her email is If you email her, as I will, she will provide you with information on how to get the raw data. The Department of Education is NOT ALLOWING us to post the raw data beacuse they claim it contains some confidential information.

5. The survey was cancelled this year because of some decisions made by the Department of Education. HOWEVER, in several weeks, on May 17th, at a meeting of the AEA Media Services consultants and the heads of large school library programs (As far as I know, Iowa City is included in this group.), a discussion will be held on several issues. These issues include:
      A. There has been talk about giving the survey at different intervals. The state may commission the survey every other year. OR, they may commission it only for libraries that have reviews done on a rotating five years basis.
      B. There is also a more general discussion that has been going on at the state level about (1), the time the survey takes to complete, and (2), the use of the data by school librarians. The May 17th meeting will discuss these issues as well.

6. In order to vocalize how you feel about this, you should talk with your AEA library consultant, who will be at this meeting on May 17th. I have asked one of the AEA librarians to provide us with notes. I will get those out to all of you as soon as I can get them.

If you have any questions, I encourage you to post them in this forum. I will post links to this post through the ILA IASL list-serv, the slik-12 listserv, and the teacherlibrarian NING. If you email me with questions, I will post them as comments to this blog post.

Sam Garchik, Regina High School Librarian.
Chair, Publications Committee, IASL