The School Library-Principal Relationship: Guidelines for Research and Practice

by James Henri, Lyn Hay and Dianne Oberg

Series: IFLA Professional Reports 78

The international study of the role of the principal in developing school library programs grew out of interest generated by studies completed in Canada and Australia and reported at conferences of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL). One impetus for the international study, for the Australian and Canadian researchers, was the desire to know if similar findings would emerge from studies conducted in countries with educational systems and school library development that were quite different from those of Canada and Australia. Involving non-English speaking countries in the international study reflected to some degree the diverse cultures and languages of IFLA members.

Need for the Study

Although the school library has long been a part of school infrastructure in many parts of the world, the implementation of the school library’s instructional role has been very limited. One element of successful school library program implementation frequently identified in the research literature is the partnership between the principal and the school librarian. There is a broad range of literature identifying the principal as the key agent of school improvement and of program implementation in other areas such as reading education and technology integration.

There is a large body of research and professional literature in English in relation to school library program development and implementation. That literature points to the key role of the principal and the importance of the partnership between the principal and the school librarian. Would that relationship hold true across a wide range of countries and cultures, including non-English speaking countries? Could an international study of the relationship between the principal and the school librarian generate findings that could have implications for practice around the world? The study presented in this report was an attempt to address those questions.

The study also allowed an exploration of the opportunities and challenges offered through international research programs. There have been few international studies utilizing a collegial model as was proposed for this study. The study also allowed the researchers to test the viability of electronic data gathering techniques.

The School Library-Principal Relationship: Guidelines for Research and Practice
By James Henri, Lyn Hay and Dianne Oberg
under the auspices of the IFLA School Libraries and Resource Centres Section
​2002
ISBN-13 978 - 90-70916-90-8

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Richtlinien, School Libraries

Letzte Aktualisierung: 12 März 2021