TMC6 Oberg

Ontario School Library Impact Project (OSLIP): Information Literacy from High School to University

By Dr. Dianne Oberg

The Ontario School Library Impact Project (OSLIP) is an initiative of the Ontario Library Association. The mandate of OSLIP is to conduct a research study that investigates the impact of school libraries on the development of key information literacy skills in students entering postsecondary education. The OSLIP strategy consists of three main elements: a literature review to determine where the current research gaps exist and to inform the study design; a questionnaire for first year post-secondary students in order to gauge their information literacy skills; and focused interviews of staff and students to determine what is being taught and how it is being taught.

Read the Paper

View the Concept Map (Figure 1 from the paper)

Supplemental Reading: Convergences of and for Media and Information Literacy Instruction in Higher Education by Dianne Oberg. Chapter in Media and Information Literacy in Higher Education (2017).

Dianne Oberg, PhD, Professor Emerita, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. Dianne’s research has focused on teacher-librarianship education and on the implementation and evaluation of school library programs. She continues to contribute to the work of Canadian School Libraries and the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL). Dianne was the founding editor of the peer-reviewed international journal, School Libraries Worldwide. She is the co-editor of a new book published by Libraries Unlimited on social justice and cultural competence in school libraries.


  1. Dianne,
    This is an ambitious project you and the team have undertaken, and I can see that it may be years before we get any substantial findings. I may have missed this because I was reading the paper close to midnight, but were there particular courses that were asked to participate? It's disappointing that a huge institution like U of T generated such small number of responses. What other methods have the team considered for increasing participation in the survey?

    Another challenging part is noting that just because you attend the University of Windsor doesn't mean that your high school career was in the Windsor area as well. There are so many complex moving parts to this undertaking; I applaud you all for attempting to qualify and quantify what it means to have trained school library professionals in the long term for learners. (I'm also proud to have been taught by you and your U of A TL-DL team.)

    Diana M

  2. Hi Dianne
    This is quite an ambitious research project with so many variables. Thanks for taking this on particularly in terms of trying to determine long-term impacts on students attending university who have or have not been taught by a qualified teacher-librarian. One of the many variables to control is your definition of a qualified teacher-librarian. What is the criteria being used to determine this? I can say for a fact that in my province, there is no educational requirement for someone calling themselves a teacher-librarian and this is a huge problem!! The observation that there is no consistency between schools in the same division let alone the same city or province. I have long lamented this and would often remark to my high school students that they should be thankful that they have a teacher-librarian actively working to prepare them for post secondary education. Not all schools have the same luxury (insert rolling eyes here on the part of the students). Preparing students for post-secondary education is also one important thing, but I wonder how effective we are preparing students for life post grade 12 regardless of where life takes them. I cringed at the comment by one of the students in your research that stated the library was a quiet place for study. Not sure where she went to school but that certainly can't be said for the high schools libraries in my division. It's concerning that youth today, like many adults, still see the school library as a place of quiet and not as a place of dynamic participatory learning.
    I look forward to further installments of your research although like I said in the People of Education paper that I read right before this, why does research always have to happen in the larger provinces like Ontario??

  3. Thank you, Diana and Jo-Anne, for your careful reading of this paper. We did not try to control all the variables ... you both rightly observe that there are many many variables involved in any inquiry into school libraries. For example, qualifications are only one part (albeit a very important one) of the tl story -- what they DO is critical! Dianne O

  4. Hi Dianne, I really appreciate the comparative data you’ve compiled here across 3 universities. I wonder how this would compare to a) student self-assessments at secondary school and also b) at colleges?


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