Posts Tagged research

Younger Americans Reading and Library Habits – the Pew Report

Numbers using a library in the past year

I stumbled upon this interesting story via a Storify link.  There are three parts to Linda W Braun’s Young People, Reading and Libraries.  You will need to delve into it yourselves and pick out the gems but there are certainly some gems for secondary school librarians in the report  but also in Linda’s storify which has plenty to mull over without even leaving the first page.

Items which I found particularly interesting were the ebook readership, interesting stats.  I’m interested in these figures as I decide whether to delve into the ebook platform and these stats make me feel rather better about delaying my decision.  Go look at the figures there.

Also interested in the graph on where teenagers get their book recommendations from.  I wonder if these stats would be the same here in New Zealand.  Probably the same.  And what would happen if they surveyed younger students, I think in my school it would be quite different statistics with many of them relying on my recommendations – possibly equal to those of their peers.  I do like the idea of students recommending books to each other.  That is my ideal world, a sharing of reading joy the “I loved this book, you should read it too!” which happens all the time with adults who read.

Anyway the Report itself is here.  Part one of the YALSA Storify is here.

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Non-Fiction Books – Are They Still Relevant in a High School Library?

Bev Novak recently posted this video Joe’s Non-Netbook illustrating students’ views on using books for research. Simple, clever, funny and enlightening.

Here’s how I see it.

Our youngest students, Year Levels 7 & 8, irregularly use our non-fiction collection. Older students occasionally utilise the books when their assignment stipulates a number of print-based resources. Why is it necessary to set this criteria? In New Zealand we are fortunate to have the EPIC Databases provided free to all schools by the Ministry of Education – 25 databases containing thousands of international and New Zealand newspapers, magazines and journals, biographies, reference material, images, audio and video on a wide range of topics. These databases quell any argument on quality of online information.

Digital resources allow students to expand images, define words, drag and drop, cut and paste, highlight and comment, to explore links to develop wider understanding, to watch videos or listen to sources that support the learning. Not surprising our students prefer digital resources to the inflexibility of print books.

It comes down to engagement doesn’t it – the learning happens from the engagement. In the 21st Century, the majority of our learners are choosing digital resources over print-based resources. As school librarians we need to reflect on the value and relevance of our non-fiction collections in response to our students’ learning needs.

Source: Bev Novak, BevsBookBlog

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YALSA research – young adults and teens in libraries

If you work with teens and young adults in school libraries you may well be interested in heading over to YALSA to read  – the articles at The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.   Of particuar interest to me was Carol C. Kuhlthau’s article – Research Matters: The Long Reach of the Model of the Information Search Process (ISP)  as I revisit our Info Lit model and think about how well it is used by both our staff and our students this is a timely read for me, and leaves me wanting a lot more in terms of research into the processes students go through after finding lots of good information and presenting their assignments.

I found the diagram below interesting.



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The State of Wikipedia by JESS3 – Celebrating 10 Years of Wikipedia

“The State of Wikipedia not only explores the rich history and inner-workings of the web-based encyclopedia, but it’s also a celebration of its 10th anniversary. With more than 17 million articles in over 270 languages, Wikipedia has undoubtedly become one of the most visited and relied upon sites on the web today.”

The video features the co-founder, Jimmy Wales as the the narrator.

Very clever, interesting and relevant, and very well done.

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Considering the future of reading: lessons, links and thought experiments

Posted to the SLANZA Facebook page by Catherine Lee, this article about the different ways we read today is full of great links to previous articles and lots of great content.  When you get to the end you will find a bundle of excellent links which will keep you occupied for ages.  I really enjoyed the video (which I can’t get to embed) too, on an evening where everyone in my house is reading in different ways on different devices!

Image is from here – where this article is also mentioned.



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How good are you at searching?

Over on the Blue Skunk blog a couple of days ago an interesting discussion was taking place.  Where do professionals learn search skills?  We are quick to criticise the search skills of the students (and staff) we work with but how good are we ourselves?

Google is always the quick answer, but is it the best answer?  Read the comments on the post and see what you think.  There are also links on there to some excellent Google tools which you may be familiar with, but if you aren’t then go try them.  The include:

Noodletools Choose the best search engine for your information needs and

Google Tutorials which have been mentioned on this blog before.

My personal fave Let me Google that for you

Got good ideas to contribute from a local perspective?  Add them to the comments below.

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Impact of School Libraries on Learning – Latest Research From Rutgers University

From the School Library Journal comes the latest research on School Libraries from Rutgers University researchers Ross Todd, Carol Gordon and Ya-Ling Lu. Their study, “One Common Goal: Student Learning”, included not only librarians, but principals, HODs, and teachers being surveyed to provide an overview of how they see the school library’s role in education. Brian Kenney  summarizes their findings into what makes effective school libraries and how the contribute to their school in What Does Excellence Look Like?: A New Study Shows the Role of School Libraries in Learning.


Flickr image by Mark Brannan

 … educators believe the library is a center for learning. While informational activities—like searching—were certainly recognized, learning, according to the researchers, “was the central mission, the central activity, and the central outcome of the school library.”

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Learning from the Public Library sector

Wonderful, thoughtful blog post here from Tania Sheko on her Brave New World blog about time spent at a PD session recently where relevancy and trends in public libraries were discussed by such luminaries as David Lee King.

There is much we can take from this for school libraries which is being actively pursued by our colleagues in Public Libraries.  It is about taking brave steps I think.  Trying new things and seeing what is possible if you break down the barriers of your own perceptions and get outside your comfort zone.

Read the entire article but this is the slideshare from Hamish Curry from the State Library of Victoria.  Check out sideshare below and put it with the twitter stream from the blogpost and you will get the gist.  I love slides 18 to 23.  Especially slide 22!  It sings to me!

Here is the link to the presentations David Lee King did in Australia

If you were looking for an awesome school library advocate to follow on Twitter then I heartily recommend Tania Sheko.  She is all kinds of awesome she is @taniatorikova

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Joyce Valenza at TEDx PhiladelphiaEd

If you missed conference, or if you were at conference and you just want more … watch Joyce at TEDx Philadelphia.  Her talk is called See Sally Research.

Joyce is talking research shifts, helping students find quality information, website evaluation,and changing tools for our students doing research.

I love the quote,  “the library is not just a place to get information, it is participatory”

Joyce mentions Mashpedia, Filter bubbles, pathfinders, Jstor widgets, RSS feeds from databases like Epic has, Twitter hashtags, copyright, creative commons, slideshare, vimeo,

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