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Quality Libraries Produce Quality Learners

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Question:

Discuss about the Quality Libraries Produce Quality Learners.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

It goes without say that libraries have form part of the strong pillars in learning institutions as far as learning is concerned (Nelson, 2010) and (Small, 2009). It has been hypothesized that the performance in learning institutions which have got libraries is better compared to performance of students in learning institutions without libraries (Barac, 2012) and (Hamilton-Pennell, 2000). Various researches including one conducted by (Todd, 2003) confirm this.  This study was conducted in Ohio, U.S.A. This hypothesis has led to a trend whereby students tend to seek admission to institutions where library services are available (Fitzgibbons, 2000) and (Kaye, 2000). To add on, institutions which lack libraries are considered to have not satisfied all laws governing establishment of learning institutions in most nations of the world. Even as various studies acclaim that the facilities have contributed to the improvement quality of education, this short study sought to establish whether the facilities are that so important in learning institutions (Ullah, 2008) and (Lance, 2002). Already the study done in Ohio, USA by (Todd, 2003) shows that 53% of the students interviewed confirmed that the facility is so important and that they have been able to gain much help especially in their research projects while 12% of the students said the library had not helped them in any way.

The population of this study consisted of all students in Holmes College who were undertaking various degree programs in the institution. Though there are other programs such as diploma and certificate programs, the study concentrated on degree students as it is common that it is at this level that students undertake their various researches projects and therefore need the library most. Due to the afore mentioned reason, the study went ahead to concentrate of the final year students only because it is at his stage that the students are busy undertaking serious research on their projects and therefore would appreciate the importance of the library.

The questionnaire consisted both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Qualitative aspect of the questionnaire sought to get students opinions, ideas and thoughts. For example one questioned asked whether they were satisfied with library services. Quantitative aspect sought to get numerical answers to the questions asked. For example, the number of times a student visited the library in a week. The questionnaire was majorly closed-ended as the respondents were restricted to the answer choices that were in the questionnaire.

This study employed both probability and non-probability sampling in selection of respondents. Purposive sampling was used to ensure that only the final year students were selected. In this case a student was approached and asked whether he or she was a final year student. After getting a pool of final year students, the study then used simple random sampling to select a sample of students that were required to take part in the study.

 

The data collected in this research comprised of both numerical and categorical. The first question in the questionnaire sought to establish the gender of the participant hence the variable “gender”. Since the answers to the question of gender were either female or male, it can be conformed that the variable was categorical. What the students go to do in the library “reason” was another categorical variable. Some of the reasons were to study, just borrowing a book or doing research. Another categorical variable was “satisfaction”. This variable was generated by the question, “are you satisfied with the services provided at the library?” The variable measured the degree of satisfaction from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. The fourth categorical variable was “frequency” of visiting the library website. It measured the frequency from the first visit to several times a month. These are just a few categorical variables among others which can be seen from the attached questionnaire at the appendix.

The numerical variables in this study were the number of times a student had visited the library in the past one week. With this variable the study would be able to establish the how busy the library is within a week. The second numerical variable “time” was created by the question, “what is time do you consider best for visiting the library?” The choices ran from 0800 hours to 1700 hours. This question sought to find the time when the library is being used most and the time it is being used less. The last numerical variable in this study was “age” of the students who were visiting the library.

Table of the number of visits categorized by gender

No Of Visit

Gender

Frequency

Percent

Percent

Cumulative Percent

F

 

1

8

57.1

57.1

57.1

2

2

14.3

14.3

71.4

4

2

14.3

14.3

85.7

10

2

14.3

14.3

100.0

Total

14

100.0

100.0

 

M

 

2

4

25.0

25.0

25.0

8

2

12.5

12.5

37.5

10

4

25.0

25.0

62.5

16

2

12.5

12.5

75.0

20

2

12.5

12.5

87.5

45

2

12.5

12.5

100.0

Total

16

100.0

100.0

 

Table 1 above is a summary table of the number of visits to the library by the respondents categorized by gender. From the results it can be said that the females visited the library so many number of times in a week than their counterparts’ males.

 

Number of visits by age and gender

It can be observed that the female students have got an average age of 21.57 years compared to the male students who had an average age of 19.4 years. The highest number of female students had the age of 19 years which is illustrated by the value of the mode. Among all the female students, the youngest was 18 years old while the oldest 35 years illustrated by the value of maximum and minimum from the summary statistics. The highest number of the male student was 19 years. The youngest and the oldest male student were 18 and 21years old respectively. The library was visited once by many females compared to their male counterparts. This is confirmed by the mode value which is 1. On the other hand the library was visited twice by males compared to females.

Summary table of reason of visit by gender

Reason of visit

Gender

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

F

 

Borrow a book

4

28.6

28.6

28.6

Other

2

14.3

14.3

42.9

Research

6

42.9

42.9

85.7

Study

2

14.3

14.3

100.0

Total

14

100.0

100.0

 

M

 

Borrow a book

2

12.5

12.5

12.5

Other

2

12.5

12.5

25.0

Research

2

12.5

12.5

37.5

Study

10

62.5

62.5

100.0

Total

16

100.0

100.0

 

According to the summary table above majority of the female students frequent the library for the purpose of conducting research. They were 42.9% in proportion. The male students on the other hand majorly went to study. 62.5% of the males confirmed. From the results above it can be concluded that among the females, the library was less popular for studying or doing any other business. Among the males, the library was less popular place for doing research or borrowing a book. In summary, it can be said that the main reasons as to why students frequent the library is to study and do research.

Majority of the students are satisfied with the services they are getting from the library. This is shown by 11 students who said that they are satisfied and very satisfied. It can therefore be concluded that all the students were satisfied with the services offered at the school library. This is because no student gave a negative response regarding the services offered at the library.

From the figure above, it can be observed that many students among those interviewed visited the library website for more information several times a week. This is followed by those who visit the website once a month. Only one student confirmed to be visiting the library website on a daily basis. Similarly only one student testified to be visiting the library for the first time then.

 

A cross tabulation presence of materials and satisfaction

What do you do there? * How satisfied are you? Cross tabulation

Count 

 

How satisfied are you?

Total

very satisfied

satisfied

slightly satisfied

What do you do there?

research

2

4

2

8

study

2

6

4

12

borrow book

2

2

2

6

other

4

0

0

4

Total

10

12

8

30

The table, 4, above shows a cross- tabulation of what the student went to do and whether they were satisfied. Among all the reasons, those who go to the library to study were the most compared to the other numbers and reasons. This is represented by a total number of six out of fifteen. Students went to the library the least number of times for other reasons apart from research, study and borrowing a book.

Confidence interval for mean number of times a student visited the library in a week.

Calculating the 95% confidence interval for mean number of times a student visited the library in a week, we must have variance, mean and total number of students. From the SPSS calculation, the values of mean, variance and total number are as in the table below (Morey, 2015);

 

Conclusion

From the study findings above, various conclusions can be drawn. It can be concluded that majority of the students find the library resourceful. This is confirmed by the number of students who recorded their satisfaction about the library services they were receiving. The number of times the students visited the library in a week and the number of times they visited the library website is a clear testimony that the library is an important and integral part of learning. It can also be said that most students in the institution like visiting the library during afternoon hours. There are three sessions, the morning session, the afternoon session and the evening session. This could be attributed to the fact that in the morning students are attending lectures while in the evening most of them are tired and are probably relaxing waiting for the following day. The institution’s library website is also very important to the students. Students who are not able to present themselves physically to the library are able to log on the library’s website to seek more information and get various online services. This research study has revealed that the main reasons why students visit the library is for them to study and do research. There are other reasons but the afore mentioned reasons are why students visit the library.

 

References

Barac, L. (2012). Full time school librarians linked to higher student reading scores.

Fitzgibbons, S. (2000). ‘School and Public Library Relationships: Essential Ingredients in Implementing Educational Reforms and Improving Student Learning’.

Hamilton-Pennell, C. (2000). How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards: The Second Colorado Study.

Hoekstra, R. (2014). Robust misinterpretation of Confidence Intervals.

Kaye, J. (2000). ‘The Greying of the Teacher Librarian’, ALIA conference.

Lance, K. C. (2002). ‘What Research Tells Us About the Importance of School Libraries’, presented at the White House Conference on School Libraries,.

Morey, D. (2015). Fallacy of placing confidence in Confidence Intervals.

Nelson, J. (2010). Library staffing benefit Latino student achievement. CSLA JOURNAL.

Pav, K. (2010). Overlapping Confidence Interval.

Small, R. V. (2009). The impacts of New York's school libraries on student achievement and motivation.

Todd, R. J. (2009). School libraries, Now more than ever.

Ullah, S. Z. (2008). Quality libraries produce quality learners. Journal of quality and technology management.

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