Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Library Services and Pupils' Library Utilization Competencies in Selected Public Schools in Rodriguez, Rizal

Researcher: DIANA V. PADILLA

Course: Master of Arts in Library Science

School: University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

Subject Area: Library usage, Library services, Public schools

Year of Graduation: 2009

The study assessed the profile of seven (7) selected public elementary school libraries in Rodriguez, Rizal in terms of their facilities, collections, and services and the corresponding library utilization competencies of their pupils. Data were gathered through a researcher-made questionnaire, referred to as the Library Knowledge Skills Inventory (LKSI), which covered five domains, namely: library services, parts of the book, use of reference materials, use of card catalog, and the use of the Dewey decimal classification system. The researcher also made an ocular inspection of the school libraries, conducted interviews with school administrators, teachers and library personnel, and asked the pupils to rate the effectiveness of their school libraries in terms of its Physical Facilities, Holdings and Library Services. Three hundred twelve (312) grade six pupils were involved in the study, although only 180 (57.68%) of them came from schools (4 out of 7) with existing libraries. Data were treated in-depth with the use of statistical tools such as percentages, ranking, mean, standard deviation, chi square test of homogeneity, and one way analysis of variance.

Results revealed a seemingly low level of competency of the pupils in library utilization as shown by their mean percentage ratings in the LKSI (40.19 to 66.27). Ironically, the students gave a "very good" rating to all the components of determining the effectiveness of their school library despite the fact that these school libraries do not seem to adhere to the Guidelines on the Implementation of School Library Policies and Programs set by the Department of Education. Significant agreements were noted in the pupils' assessment of their school libraries in terms of the size of the reading area, seating capacity, ventilation system, general and reference collection, library staff, orientation and circulation services, and reader's guide. Significant differences were also noted in the LKSI mean percentage ratings with regard to the physical condition of their school libraries. Knowledge of library services was more evident when the library is located at the second floor and non-profit materials are made available. Presence of audio-visual materials enhanced their knowledge on the parts of a book and skills in the use of reference materials and the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Based on the results, a Library Instructional Program must be developed to assist pupils so they can become more competent in using their respective libraries and be effective users of information.

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