Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Lindstrom, Michael


Throughout history, free public and school libraries have been symbols of freedom and democracy, of equitable access to cultural, intellectual, and technical resources. Since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001, there have been only a narrow cluster of studies on the importance and impact of school libraries. This mixed-methods study explored the unintended impacts of No Child Left Behind on Rhode Island’s public school libraries and a potential framework for sustainability from the perspectives of the state’s school library leaders regarding the viability of school libraries in an era of high-stakes testing and accountability and a narrowing of the curriculum. Both data sets revealed that standards-based initiatives have contravened with the social, ethical, and aesthetic mission of school libraries and may imperil their viability in the state of Rhode Island; however, a more significant impactor was uncovered: the attributes of school librarians, themselves, and the programs they deliver. This study may serve to fill a gap in the existing research and contribute to the growing body of historical data that may provide perspective to leaders in the field planning the future of our nation’s public school libraries.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation