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Library Technology | News

Partnership Provides Access to Lexile Measures in Some New York State School Libraries

Owing to a partnership between an educational assessment company and an automated library system provider, some New York State school libraries will receive access to Lexile measures to help select books and other resources for students based on reading ability.

The collaboration between MetaMetrics and BiblioFiche/Media Flex will provide New York school libraries that use OPALS (Open Source Automated Library System) with access to Lexile measures. According to the MetaMetrics Web site, "A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it — 880L is 880 Lexile." The Lexile Framework looks at students' reading ability based on assessment results, and teachers can then select materials based on students' reading abilities.

OPALS is an open-source system that provides Internet access to digital archives, library catalogs, and information databases. It can be hosted on Media Flex's servers or installed on-site by the company's technical support and programming staff. About 1,8000 New York state school libraries in 21 of 37 New York State Boards of Cooperative Educational Services School Library Systems are currently using the system.

For this project, the OPALS support team created a utility that allows Lexile measures to be added to more than 140,000 titles, allowing teachers and librarians to know the reading difficulty of each title. The utility, which supports Common Core State Standards, schedules regular updates.

For more information about New York State School Library Systems, visit nysl.nysed.gov. To learn more about MetaMetrics, go to metametricsinc.com. Visit mediaflex.net for more information about Media Flex.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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