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CA Department of Education Library Survey

This is the annual online school library survey for California schools conducted each year and directions for printing and accessing the CA school libraries survey for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Education Code Section 18122 directs local governing boards to report to the California Department of Education (CDE) on the condition of school libraries. CDE created this online data collection survey to meet the Education Code requirement and to develop an accurate picture of the condition of school libraries across the state.

The updated annual online survey is now open to collect information from individual schools about their libraries in 2015–2016. It will be active through Friday, June 30, 2017. Prior year survey responses are available as well.

For district or county downloads, contact Renée Ousley-Swank at 916-319-0449 or for assistance.

Directions for Beginning the Survey

Note the information being collected is about the 2015–2016 academic year. If records were not kept, please give your best estimate for this survey, and begin to collect the data for next year.

  • Our suggestion is that you print a copy (DOC) of the entire survey to use as a worksheet before you enter the data online.

  • Once you have assembled your information on the printed worksheet, you can come back to enter the data online. We estimate it will take you 15 minutes to enter your worksheet data online. You do not need to complete the whole survey at one time. Each section is saved automatically as you advance to the next section.

  • A password is again required. For password assistance, contact Renée Ousley-Swank at (916) 319-0449 or

  • You may return to the survey at any time to make changes until June 30, 2017, when the survey will be closed.

As you answer the questions, the information for your school goes directly into a database. You will be prompted to correct an entry if it cannot be "read" by the database.

Each school has a record in the database. At this time, we are collecting information from individual schools, including juvenile court and charter schools, but not from districts, county offices, or private schools. To find the record for your school, use the drop-down menus to select your county, district, and then school.

Your answers are recorded in our database when you use the Next and Submit buttons. Please do not attempt to use your browser's Back button.

The updated survey is divided into five sections, incorporating the California Model School Library Standards, and better assesses the type and extent of library services schools provide. To gather this depth of detail, the survey is longer. While you will see many familiar elements of the previous survey iteration, these questions ask for more detail, and new questions have been added.

Tips to Complete the Survey by Section
  • Library Staffing – there are two subsections
    • District Level – this is a completely new section designed to gain a district-wide perspective, including asking for the title of the district-level person who oversaw the school library program. If you do not have a district librarian, please provide the title of the district administrator responsible for overseeing the library program (i.e., Director of Curriculum and Instruction). Ideally the administrator of the library program will determine how best to answer these four questions and will share those answers with the library staff.
    • Site Level – from here forward the questions focus specifically on the school site for which you are completing the survey. New questions include training of classified library staff, if any, and how many different libraries the staff work. Staffing hours are now calculated by Full Time Equivalent (FTE) – you enter the hours worked at this school site, and the FTE is calculated for you.
  • Library Access – there are four subsections
    • Library Service Hours in a Typical Week – this section of questions has been updated to include asking for the specific hours the school is open (e.g., M–F 8:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.) and then the hours the library is open. We also want to know how often the library is closed to serve as a testing space and how often you go to the classrooms to work.
    • Library’s Physical Space – we ask for more detail about the size of the space and how it is utilized, including as a makerspace External link opens in new window or tab. and learning commons External link opens in new window or tab.. Follow the links for more information on makerspaces and learning commons.
    • Library’s Virtual Presence – questions from the previous survey related to an online presence are all grouped together, and social media questions have been added.
    • Computers/Tablet Devices – questions focus on computers in the library, districts’ filtering software, issuing students 1:1 devices, and when students are allowed to use their own devices.
  • Resources –there are three subsections
    • Overall Collection –questions about size of collection (both print and eBooks), print subscriptions to magazines and newspapers, audio materials, and video materials.
    • Age of Collection – copyright question. This year we are asking for the average copyright date of the Dewey section 629. We ask an additional question related to determining the relative age of the collection – provide the name of the most recent president who has a whole book on him in the library collection.

Tutorials –Let your automation system calculate the answer to survey question 48. Special thanks to Janice Gilmore-See (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District), Kathie Maier (CSLA Administrative Assistant), and Marie Slim (Garden Grove Unified School District) for preparing the Screencasts. (Due to regular automation system updates and upgrades the reports may be slightly different than portrayed.)

  • Alexandria 5 External link opens in new window or tab.
  • Alexandria 6.14 version External link opens in new window or tab.
  • Destiny External link opens in new window or tab.

    • Licensed Databases – the same question we have asked previously.

  • 2015–2016 Budget – updates in this section include a reduction in the range of budget choices and asking if your library program is written into your Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). If you are not sure about the LCAP, talk to your administrator.
  • Curriculum and Instruction – there are three subsections. We expect to see a natural correlation between the level of staffing (certifications and FTEs) and the level of library services being provided. Schools staffed by one FTE teacher librarian + one FTE classified paraprofessional are anticipated to offer more services versus a school staffed by a single person (either certificated or classified) split between sites. We want to know what typically occurred in the library program and not what you wanted to happen.
    •  General Programming – questions focus on your program in general, asking about library advisory committees, school site councils, library policy/procedure manual, job descriptions, and how often library staff met for planning and professional development.

    • Basic Services – an expanded version of similar questions asked in previous survey iterations. These are general services and basic instruction which might be performed by any and all library staff regardless of credential and/or title. Instead of simple yes/no answers, questions 62–74 ask you to select the best answer from a range of choices: More than once per week; Once per week; 2–3 times per month; Once per month; Less than once per month; and Never. New questions ask about activities that occurred in a typical class visit, how many classes were seen in a typical week, and how long the class visit lasted.

    • Teaching Approaches – questions are designed to look in more detail at teaching, collaboration, and management of the library program and are activities typically associated with holders of the Teacher Librarian Credential. These questions may not be skipped, and answer as honestly and accurately as possible. Questions 78–82 and 85–86 ask you to choose from the same range of choices in Basic Services with the additional choice of Not applicable – we do not have a teacher librarian. Questions 83 a) and b) and 84 have an additional choice of With guidance and support from district librarian.

    • Respondent Information – we ask you to provide the contact information for the person who completed the survey and the name of the person at the district responsible for library services in case we need to contact you to verify any responses.

    • Submitting Survey - You may select the link to preview all your answers. Your browser must allow pop-up windows in order to see the preview. Whenever you are ready, select the “Submit” button on the bottom of the screen to submit your survey. You will then be provided with a confirmation number and you will be able to print a copy of your submission for your records.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to complete this survey. Your answers are invaluable to us as we develop a picture of library programs across the state, and you now have much more detailed data to look closely at your school library program.

Start Survey Here

  • Survey Participation and Responses
    Check to see which schools have completed the survey, and you can even see which schools participated in prior surveys. To see the survey responses, select the survey name and year from the drop-down menu. Then, click on the county, the district, and then the school’s name (in blue). The responses will be displayed on the screen. Use the blue buttons to navigate back and not the browser’s back button.

  • A Statistical Snapshot of California School Libraries is also available.

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 9, 2017