Fixed / Flex, Open / ClosedWhat Does a Recent Study Show? Dr. Gail Dickinson, Old Dominion University email@example.com Karen Gavigan, University of North Carolina at Greensboro firstname.lastname@example.org
Researchers • Dr. Gail Dickinson, Old Dominion University • Karen Gavigan, University of North Carolina at Greensboro • Dr. Shana Pribesh, Old Dominion University
Online Survey • Inquisite Software – ODU Research Center Support • 22 question survey • Circulation • Loss • Demographics • Program Information
Data Collected for 2005--2007 Academic Years • 183 surveys returned • 84 elementary schools • 56 middle schools • 31 high school schools • 12 other schools
Fixed or Flexible Schedule? Schedule and School Library Circulation • Research Question: How is school library schedule related to school library circulation per pupil?
Effect of Scheduling on Per Pupil Circulation
Summary of Findings • A flexibly scheduled school library media program will result in an increase in per pupil book circulation. • Using the school library media center program to provide planning time for classroom teachers is counter-productive and detrimental to student’s access to materials.
A Flexed Schedule May Result In… • More students reading more books • An increase in student achievement as a result of increased access to materials • More collaboration which could lead to an increase in student use of the library
The Reality… • “The dirty little secret, seldom discussed openly within the profession, is that some practitioners not only accept fixed scheduling, they prefer it’ (Dr. Gail Dickinson quoted in Hurley, 2004, p. 36). • “In the final analysis, it is unlikely that the controversy regarding fixed vs. flexible school library scheduling will ever be resolved as long as the statistical research evidence upon which opinions are based remains inadequate” (Hurley, 2004).
Burning Questions • What does it mean? ???????
Open / Closed:The Relationship between Closures and Circulation in School Library Media Centers • Research Question 1: How many full or partial days are school library media centers closed to circulation during the academic school year? • Research Question 2: What conditions correlated with the number of days of school library media center closures? • Research Question 3: Is the number of days closed related to annual library circulation per pupil?
DAYS CLOSED BY GRADE LEVEL School Type Mean Elementary 18.2 Middle 16.6 High 13.9
Summary of Findings for Research Question 1…How many full or partial days are school library media centers closed to circulation during the academic school year? • On average, school library media centers were closed almost 15 full and 9 partial days • An academic year is typically 185 days, thus, on average libraries are closed 9% of the time students are in school.
Factors Affecting Library Closures * Difference between NC and Virginia – see future slide ( 21)
Summary of Findings for Research Question 2… What conditions correlated with the number of days of school library media center closures? • As the FRL percentages increased, indicating more students who lived in poverty and attended that school, the number of days reported closed increased as well. • This indicates that the poorest schools closed their school library media centers the most days.
Summary of Findings for Research Question 3…Is the number of days closed related to annual library circulation per pupil? • The reason that findings in one state would show a significant difference while another did not is unclear, and will need further research to uncover other factors which impact circulation.
Implications… • The library is closed too often for reasons under the control of the librarian. • Impact of closures is not limited to circulation issues. • We are unable to determine the degree to which students have equitable access to resources beyond their school libraries.
Overall Summary for Library Closures • School library media centers are all-too-frequently closed for purposes other than that for which they are designed. • The mission of the school library media program in the school, “to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information” (AASL/AECT, 1998) is impaired when the library is closed. • The fact that a school library media center may be closed to student use more than 20% of the school year has to be of concern, especially with the current national emphasis on reading and literacy and student achievement.
Serendipitous Finding… • Survey results from NC and VA showed that School libraries that serve large concentrations of students living in poverty were closed for more days, had fewer staff and new volumes, and utilized a fixed schedule more than school libraries serving few students living in poverty.
The bottom line… • Schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty are likely to be shortchanging students in terms of school library media services.
Burning Questions • What does it mean? ???????
Published Results of the Study • Open and Accessible article – School Library Media Research Vol. 11 www.ala.org/aasl/slmr • Submitted Fixed / Flex article to refereed library science journal • ALISE / Linworth Young Adult Research Paper Award on poverty. Article to be published in 2009 in Library Media Connection. • Future article on benchmark means – average circulation and loss.