The development and utilization of an online instrument to assess the quality of K–12 elementary school libraries
Evelyn L. Beyer, University of Houston, United States
University of Houston . Awarded
The 1997 School Library Programs: Standards and Guidelines for Texas defines five Components for a model school library program: (1) Learning Environment; (2) Curriculum Integration; (3) Resources; (4) Program Management; and (5) Facilities. In 2000, the Texas Library Standards Online Assessment Instrument (LSOAI) was developed as a multi-user web-based instrument for assessing K--12 school library programs. The developers promoted the online instrument as a way in which librarians, and other stakeholders, could easily access library evaluation data on the Texas school library programs.
The purpose of this study is to assess the quality of Texas elementary library programs by examining librarians' ratings on the LSOAI for 2001--2002. This study also investigates how these ratings relate to student achievement as demonstrated by (a) student Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TARS) reading scores, (b) school Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) ratings, and (c) school demographics. Furthermore, an analysis of the reliability and validity of the LSOAI is carried out in order to determine the usability of the LSOAI as an instrument for assessing K--12 libraries.
The present study is based upon a secondary data analysis of a convenience sample of 256 Texas elementary librarians who completed the LSOAI in 2001--2002. The results indicate that the LSOAI is both a reliable and valid instrument for accessing school library programs. The findings also reveal that Exemplary rated libraries have lower student-teacher ratios, lower percentages of economically disadvantaged and LEP populations, smaller budgets for instruction and instructional leadership, and greater access to the Internet and its resources than lower rated libraries. Internet access has a high, positive association with the five Components of the 1997 Standards. The study concludes with suggestions relating to the development of a future school library program assessment instrument including the need for educating librarians on the purpose and use of an instrument; involving stakeholders in library assessment; collecting relevant data; and identifying funding sources for development.
Beyer, E.L. The development and utilization of an online instrument to assess the quality of K–12 elementary school libraries. Ph.D. thesis, University of Houston.
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