Perceptions of school library media specialists regarding their roles and practices
Anne McCracken, George Mason University, United States
George Mason University . Awarded
This study examines the views of school library media specialists in regards to their roles and functions in comparison with the standards published by professional associations. Professional organizations and associations have set standards and issued guidelines from the early days of the profession and revised the standards on a regular basis. Yet, despite the issuance of national standards there is insecurity and confusion among librarians regarding their role. Therefore this study seeks to determine if practicing school librarians have been able to implement the 1988 and 1998 national standards and if they think it is important to implement the standards at their school. This study also attempts to determine if there is a correlation between descriptive variables (level of school. i.e. elementary or secondary, the number of years of professional experience as a school library media specialist, the number of years experience as a classroom teacher, the amount of available technology, the presence of an automated circulation and cataloging system, and the type of scheduling that the librarian uses, flexible, fixed, or a combination), and the reported practices and views of school library media specialists. A historical review of the literature revealed that school librarians have been asked to assume a wide variety of roles and that there has been confusion in the profession regarding the role of the school librarian. To determine what the perceptions of school librarians are regarding their roles and practices the researcher has developed a survey. The survey is comprised of statements regarding the roles of the school library media specialist as described in the 1988 and 1998 editions of Information Power. For each statement respondents are asked to answer the following questions, “Do you practice this?” and “Do you think this is an important part of the school library media specialist's role?” The survey will be mailed to a random sampling of 1,000 K–12 school library media specialists in the United States. The random sampling will be obtained from Market Data Retrieval, an educational marketing firm. All data collected in this study will be confidential; all data and responses will be coded so that respondent cannot be identified.
McCracken, A. Perceptions of school library media specialists regarding their roles and practices. Ph.D. thesis, George Mason University.
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