Exploring SLIDE: The School Library Investigation—Decline or Evolution?
Are you aware of the disparity between school library staffing requirements in different states and school districts?
This April is School Library Month! With how politics have been affecting school libraries, let’s look at how school libraries fare in the wake of book banning legislature. The School Library Investigation—Decline or Evolution project (better known as SLIDE) is a database and research project that aims to watch and investigate the decline in school librarian positions and staffing.
You can check out their website here.
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What Is SLIDE?
The School Library Investigation—Decline or Evolution (SLIDE) project is an unbiased study of the hiring practices and job security within school libraries across the United States. The project is currently underway, starting in September 2020, and scheduled to conclude in August 2023. The study aims to track the steady decline of school library positions and how they affect local communities.
How Do I Compare My School District?
The SLIDE website allows visitors to compare their school district and statewide statistics using data collected from 2015–2016 and 2018–2019 via the National Center for Education Statistics. If you’d like to look into your state or district’s standing among the rest of the country, visit their “data tools” page for more information.
You can compare data in four different ways:
The custom search function lets you select a specific state or district and compare them with other states or districts. You can also choose which statistic to look into from a list of options, including multi-year staffing data from a specific district, state-level data from all fifty states, and state-level data from a selection of states. You can export this data and save it for yourself, too!
The district comparisons function is great for comparing information within specific states. To do so, type in the name of a particular school district, and the site will allow you to select a group of peer districts to compare against. You can also refine search filters to narrow down your list of peer districts further.
Under state profile, you can select a particular state and view its overall statistics on its school libraries and school librarian positions.
The state surveys page lets you view statistics from a Fall 2020 survey that contextualizes each state profile. You can view reports by state or by the question asked.
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