The Syracuse iSchool’s Center for Digital Literacy (CDL) was featured as one of three major school librarianship research centers in a story recently published by School Library Journal, the most widely read professional journal in the school library field. The other two research centers featured in the piece were Florida State’s Partnerships Advancing Library Media (PALM) and Rutgers’s Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL).

The School Library Journal story mentioned several of the CDL’s research projects, including:

  • SOS for Information Literacy, a multimedia database of lesson plans named as one of the top 25 Web sites for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
  • A two-year New York State study intended to show administrators the impact of school libraries and their librarians on student achievement and motivation.
  • Prof. Marilyn Arnone’s study “Perceived Competence Among 8th Graders,” which shows that students need a sense of choice and the freedom to discover new things in the library.
  • The CDL’s research on how libraries can play a role in promoting innovation in kids.
  • The “Kids as Environmental Entrepreneurs” project, a partnership between the CDL and the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The project aims to motivate teens to find solutions to environmental problems like global warming, pollution, and reducing our carbon footprint.
  • A partnership with London-based Valiant Technology to create training materials for school librarians and other K-12 educators on ways that voice-activated robots might help with learning.

The School Library Journal also discusses the projects of school library research centers at Florida State and Rutgers, and it reveals that researchers from all three universities hope to collaborate to develop a digital library that would help school librarians collect evidence-based practices and research—crucial information needed to prove to administrators that their jobs are important.

The proposed database would offer a range of resources, such as data collection and evaluation tools, best-practice tutorials, video testimonials, and research reports. “Once built, it would give [librarians] access to validated instruments that they can use to collect data within their schools and systems,” said Meredith Professor Ruth Small, director of both the CDL and the Syracuse iSchool’s Library and Information Science School Media Program.

To learn more about the CDL’s research projects and the school library research centers at Florida State and Rutgers, check out the complete School Library Journal story.

The Center for Digital Literacy is an interdisciplinary research center, including faculty and students from the School of Information Studies, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and the School of Education. Its mission is to understand the impact of information, technology and media literacies on children and adults (particularly those from underserved populations) in today’s technology-intensive society; and to study the impact having or not having these literacies has on people, organizations, and society.