Document Type



Doctor of Education


Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Joseph L. Polman, Ph.D.


Susan Catapano

Lisa Bertrand

Carl Hoagland


Elementary school principals are busy people. They are torn away from instructional duties by daily emergencies and are challenged to track student achievement and plan for improvements. Library media specialists are in a position to help principals improve teaching and learning. Gaining a better understanding of a positive and productive working relationship between a principal and a library media specialist will give the field valuable insight into how present-day schools can meet the needs of instructional and administrative leadership. This qualitative study examined the working relationship of an elementary school principal and library media specialist in a public school setting. The individual case study focused on how the principal utilized the library media specialist to improve learning and instruction and explored the relationship's effect on the school community. The library media program developed by the principal and librarian was chosen for its quality reputation. The program was deemed outstanding by Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL). An understanding of the case was built by collecting and analyzing data from interviews, observations, and examination of relevant documents. Results of the study led to these conclusions: the library was a welcoming place enjoyed by students, teachers, and community volunteers; teachers viewed the library media specialist as an instructional partner; the principal was knowledgeable about the library media center expecting students and teachers to use the facility and resources in learning and instruction; the principal supported the library media program through the school budget, collaborative planning, and flexible scheduling; the librarian participated in building and district-wide professional development, served on curriculum and textbook committees, and took part in the school's technology team; and finally, the principal and library media specialist advocated collaboration impacted student achievement in a positive way.

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