Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Disability and Equity in Education

First Advisor

Valerie Owen

Second Advisor

Terry Smith

Third Advisor

Rob Morrison


Research has shown that school librarians are not well equipped to work with students who have disabilities. Applying a conceptual framework culled from the public policy process literature, this phenomenological study used interviews with Washington, DC, policy workers--some of whom advocate for students with disabilities--to explore the possible connection between library experiences and the placement of libraries within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The findings indicate that these workers are not framing libraries in the same way that library professionals do and are not viewing school libraries as a direct source of student instruction. This dichotomy suggests that librarians should partner more closely with various advocacy coalitions and join more fully in the reauthorization discussions concerning education legislation, including the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to foster a more effective role for libraries in the education of all children.