OPALS Partners with MetaMetrics to Provide Lexile Measures for New York State School Library Systems

Library Automation Technology Uses Popular Reading Metric to Help New York Students Find Ability-Appropriate Books

Durham, N.C. – Feb 19, 2013 –MetaMetrics®, developer of The Lexile® Framework for Reading, and BiblioFiche/Media Flex, developers of OPALS (Open Source Automated Library System), are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership that will provide Lexile measures to the New York State School Library Systems. OPALS currently serves approximately 1,800 New York State school libraries which represents 45% of New York State schools through the School Library Systems’ union catalogs. As these numbers grow, more students will be able to find books that fit their personal reading abilities based on Lexile measures. 

OPALS (Open Source Automated Library System) is a library automation technology initiative that, as of January 2012, is supported by 21 of the 37 New York State BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) School Library Systems. The School Library Systems offer a range of services to school library media specialists intended to enhance student learning and share resources cooperatively. OPALS helps libraries manage their daily operations by providing customizable software resulting in more efficient access to library collections and services.

The OPALS support team has developed a utility that makes it possible to merge MetaMetrics' Lexile measures to match library records without having to export and re-import each library's MARC record data. The utility is easy to use and enables School Library Systems to schedule regular updates, adding Lexile measures of recently analyzed book titles on an ongoing basis without disruption of library services. This initiative provides Lexile measures, the widely adopted text complexity metric, to over 140,000 book titles which allows teachers access to thousands of learning resources supporting the Common Core State Standards and differentiated instruction.

"Making Lexile measures more available to school library systems will help strengthen achievement in literacy and further promote college and career readiness," said MetaMetrics President and co-founder Malbert Smith, III, Ph.D. "We are thrilled that, through our partnership with Bibliofiche, Lexile measures will become a more accessible resource for school librarians in their critical work of fostering reading growth and love of reading."

The Lexile Framework is a unique tool for accurately matching readers with text. Unlike other measurement systems, the Lexile Framework evaluates reading ability and growth based on actual assessment results, rather than generalized age or grade levels. Lexile measures help librarians, teachers and parents find books, articles and other resources within a reader’s recommended Lexile range: 100L below to 50L above his or her Lexile measure. Reading materials within this optimal Lexile range will challenge the individual’s reading ability, while still maintaining interest and learning.  

“Lexile measures are being used across New York at both the school and district level through many popular commercial products,” said Harry Chan, CEO of BibiloFiche. “The addition of Lexile measures to OPALS will support the thousands of New York librarians and teachers who use Lexile measures to differentiate instruction and track growth in reading ability for their students.”

By adding Lexile measures to OPALS, librarians, teachers, and students receive valuable information about the text complexity of a book. Having Lexile measures within the New York State School Library System enhances a school librarian’s ability to match students with appropriate texts, further nurturing a love of reading. A goal of the OPALS community is to bring this dynamic partnership to other states where more school libraries and students will benefit from matching Lexile measures to texts.

About MetaMetrics
MetaMetrics is focused on improving education for learners of all ages and ability levels. The organization develops scientific measures of academic achievement and complementary technologies that link assessment results with real-world instruction. MetaMetrics' products and services for reading (The Lexile® Framework for Reading, El Sistema Lexile™ para Leer), mathematics (The Quantile® Framework for Mathematics), and writing (The Lexile® Framework for Writing) provide unique insights about academic ability and the potential for growth, enabling individuals to achieve their goals at every stage of development. Connect with the organization at: http://blog.lexile.com.

About OPALS
OPALS (Open Source Automated Library System) is a community of academic, education, special and public librarians that collaborate with experienced software engineers, automation consultants, support technicians and administrators to develop and support this open source integrated library system. Their goal is to create sustainable, state-of-the-art technology that is easy to use, easy to implement and easy to afford. OPALS is an open source initiative that is well supported by librarians around the world. Librarians drive OPALS development by writing innovative system function specifications and testing those engineered updates.

BiblioFiche/Media Flex, the creator of OPALS, has been providing library services and goods for over 40 years. The company is continually developing new technologies to help libraries more easily disseminate relevant information and evolve their catalogs.