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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS068055)

Elementary School Teachers’ Attitudes Toward and Actual Utilization of School Libraries: An Analysis of Surveys and Interviews
No.68, p.55-84
Issue date

Purpose: Even in elementary schools with fully equipped school libraries, teachers can be divided into two groups: those who use the library frequently and those who do so infrequently. This paper investigates empirically the attitudes and characteristics of the two groups, to identify the primary factors affecting their library use. It also explores how school libraries can support teachers.

Methods: Two surveys were conducted in eight elementary schools that have a fully equipped and active library. First, a questionnaire survey was conducted for 160 teachers of the schools about their attitudes and characteristics of school library use. Based on the amount of time spent on library use in a year, the respondents were divided into two groups: frequent users and infrequent users, and the responses to the questionnaire were compared between the two groups. Second, sixteen teachers were interviewed. The results were analyzed in terms of the conditions of teachers, students and schools.

Result: From the questionnaire, twelve statistically significant differences in attitudes and characteristics regarding school library use were found between the two groups. From the interview, seven significant differences corresponding to those in the questionnaire and twelve new primary factors were identified. Five factors required for school libraries to support teachers were found: 1) understanding of the importance and needs of school library use, 2) active library use in classes of five main subjects (Japanese language, social studies, integrated study, life environment studies,

and science) , 3) reference to practical examples of library use, 4) improvement of instruction by using book reading services or book talks, and 5) making teaching plans for library use.

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