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TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS USE OF SCHOOL LIBRARIES FOR DEVELOPING READING CULTURE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

This study investigated the teachers and students’ use of school and class libraries for developing reading culture in senior secondary schools. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. An instrument titled:  Teachers and students’ use of school and class libraries for developing reading culture in senior secondary schools (TSUSCLDRCSS) was used to collect relevant data for the study. The ten (10) secondary school involved were selected based on stratified sampling technique method and the statistical tools employed to analyse the data collected were percentages while the inferential statistics of chi-square(x2) was used to test the stated hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. 200 sample sizes were used for the study. Four (4) research questions and four (4) research hypotheses were designed and formulated for the purpose of the study. The study revealed that there was a significant influence of school library in promoting reading culture among SSS teachers and students. It also revealed that there was a significant difference between the availability of books and the school library. The study also revealed that there was a significant influence of school library materials on SSS students and teachers. The study further revealed that there was significant difference between factors militating against the SSS teachers and students in developing reading culture in Lagos State. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations and suggestions were made for students, parents, lecturers and university administrators and relevant agencies for further research.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.2Background to the Study

The concept of school libraries has become a subject of renewed interest for researchers and educationists alike both nationally and internationally (Walker, 2005). Researchers have indicated some definitive concepts with respect to the use of school libraries. The library provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both. A library's collection can include books, periodicals, newspaper, manuscript, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-rays Discs, e-books, databases and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. In the 21st Century, the role of the School Library is imperative to the teaching and learning program of a school. The main goal of the library is to encourage the development of lifelong learning in our students, by promoting a reading culture and developing sound research skills(Akinbode, 2005).

All over the world libraries are dedicated to providing free and equitable access to information for all, be it in written, electronic or audiovisual form. They play a key role in creating literate environments and promoting literacy by offering relevant and attractive reading material for all ages and all literacy levels and by offering students, teachers and family literacy classes. They embrace the social responsibility to offer services that bridge social, political and economic barriers, and traditionally make a special effort to extend their services to marginalized people. Libraries assist in finding, using and interpreting appropriate information that opens up opportunities for lifelong learning, literacy enhancement, informed citizenship, recreation, creative imagination, individual research, critical thinking, and ultimately, empowerment in an increasingly complex world (Amucheazu, 2006).

Reading is an activity which helps to develop the mind and personality of human beings and ultimately enriches their intellectual lives. As students learn to enjoy reading; learning becomes relevant and in that way improves their reading culture and self concept. Reading helps readers have mastery of their lives, and situations in life.  Examples of how people in the books managed their situations give students knowledge of how to cope with similar situations. According to Elaturoti (2011), students can only achieve their potentials in life if they have developed interest in the use of their school or class library. This is because reading helps an individual to achieve greater control, increased independence and a greater sense of self worth and belonging (Meribe, 2005).

Apart from provision of reading materials, school libraries provide reading programmes that motivate students to read for pleasure.  Reading culture are reading activities school or class libraries provide to create awareness of the collection and motivate students to read for pleasure and academic achievement. They are reading experiences provided in the school or class library to encourage students’ use of the collection and inculcate voluntary reading cultures in students.  The reading programme include display, exhibition, access to reading materials, lending of books, storytelling, debate, book talks (Carbo and Cole, 2005). Engaging students in variety of reading experiences through book talks, readers’ theatre, and storytelling will help students develop habit of listening, comprehension and recall.  Students’ participation in debate and book club will challenge them to read widely and seek information in the library. Asiabaka (2008), maintained that school facilities management play a pivotal role in the actualization of educational goals and objectives by satisfying the physical and emotional needs of the staff and students. School records are an important means of accountability because they provide proof.

Library seeks to promote a reading culture in the students, teachers and the Community. Reading for enjoyment is encouraged through the library’s extensive fiction collection, which includes graphic novels and a range of general interest magazines. Library also plays a vital role in supporting the teaching and learning program of the School. Access to a wide range of relevant resources and equipment is available from the Library, via the catalogue.  The Library team collaborates with classroom teachers to develop information literacy skills, making use of the excellent facilities provided in the Library Learning Space and appropriate online databases.  Lack of interest in reading among students is one of the causes of low education quality in Nigeria. In fact, reading is a source of knowledge. Teachers should not only focus in teaching in classrooms, but in motivating students to improve their knowledge (Bassey, 2006). Although the main purpose of a library is a source of knowledge, it is more often used as place to store books. Students still prefer to choose other activities than reading books in a school or class library.

The issue of poor reading culture in the Nigerian society cannot be overemphasized. Because reading makes great people and great nations, the researchers were moved to carry out this study to see how far the use of school library programs can go in promoting the dilapidating reading culture which is getting worse. Providing equity of access to reading resources, engaging authors’ visits, and supporting books fairs, exhibition and displays are means to building lifelong readers.  Specifically reading culture promotion is one of the cardinal roles of school library (Dike, 2008).  Four out of the nine contributions expected of the school libraries in Nigeria are on reading development.  According to the Minimum Standard; libraries promote the development of reading skills and encourage long term learning habits through reading, listening to and viewing a variety of learning materials.  Reading culture form the key to continuous success in school as well as personal enrichment of the teachers/students. Libraries also provide opportunities for further reading and use of materials other than prescribed classroom textbooks. Stimulate research and independent study by providing a wide variety of materials so that it does not only supply information in printed form, but also in pictures, films, tapes etc.  This makes learning more exciting. It provide materials for recreation and encourage teachers/students to read for pleasure.  Free voluntary reading also helps students in the acquisition of other language skills, success in their academic, improved reading ability, vocabulary knowledge, emotional stability, enjoyment of leisure hours, and increased knowledge of political, economical and social issues in his environment. (Sandars, 2007). The study is therefore going to look into the teachers and students use of school libraries for developing reading culture in secondary school.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Most secondary schools in Nigeria are facing non-availability of properly established libraries and proper literacy programmes (Ajumobi, 2004).  Even those that may have library facilities, these are either poorly stocked or have outdated books which may not inspire students to read. Lack of school libraries or poorly established libraries have a negative impact on literacy levels of students. The non-availability of library resources in most case often force students to read only what they are taught by teachers during class. (Tella, Ayeni and Popoola, 2007). Many factors are responsible for the decline in students’ use of school libraries and reading culture in our society. Some of these factors include unfamiliarity with reading on the part of many students, inadequate development of reading skills amongst students, lack of continuity with reading programmes on the part of the teachers, and language interference, amongst others. The distraction by the fallout from technological innovation in the world today, such as the easy availability of the entertainment media, games and gambling, the inadequate funding of educational institutions including funding of libraries and e-library units.

Also, through the introduction of information and communication technologies, students are seen carrying their phones and texting messages, listening to music, yahoo yahoo, etc. They neither study nor read and thus are getting deformed. Their command of English language is poor, so also is their vocabulary and diction. All these are because they do not read anymore (Akinbola, 2007).

The teachers should provide assignments that require students to use library resources so as to spread the culture of reading beyond the library walls; the teachers as well as school administrators must understand the need for a culture of reading in schools to support the recreational reading lives of students and to develop the reading habit in our students, preparing them for future academic success and lifelong literacy and learning. It is a concern that many students do not choose to read, and teachers need to work to build and maintain a strong culture of reading in schools so that students do not just learn to read at school, but choose to read in their free time as well. This study intends to look into teachers and students’ use of school and class libraries for developing reading culture in senior secondary schools. 

 1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study intends to look into teachers and students’ use of school and class libraries for developing reading culture in senior secondary schools.

Therefore, the study specifically intends:

1.      To look into the use of school library in promoting reading culture among the SSS teachers and students.

2.      To examine the availability of books in the school library.

3.      To examine the relevance of school library materials to SSS students and teachers.

4.      To find out factors militating against the SSS teachers and students in developing reading culture in Lagos State

1.4 Research Questions

2        How do teachers and students use school library in promoting their reading culture?

2.      To what extent are books available in school library?

3.      To what extent is the relevance of school library materials to SSS students and teachers?

4.      What are the factors militating against the SSS students and teachers in developing reading culture in Lagos State?

2.5Research Hypotheses

HO:1. There is no significant influence of school library in promoting reading culture among SSS teachers and students.

HO:2.  There is no significant difference between the availability of books and the school library.

HO:3. There is no significant influence of school library materials on SSS students and teachers.

HO:4 There is no significant difference between factors militating against the SSS teachers and    students in developing reading culture in Lagos State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

It is expected that the study will assist and provide proper interventions by the Government through the Ministry of Education to help influence the need for reading and developing an interest for reading at an early stage through the provision of properly established school libraries, that the results of the research will be useful to: the policy makers in government by providing insight into library impact on schools in terms of literacy and development of a reading culture and the importance of having qualified librarians to ably undertake this task.

The study will also provide information that may be used by government and school managers to support the establishment of well stocked school libraries with adequate reading materials and facilities for students and teachers.

It is also hoped that the results of this study will promote the concerted efforts of parents, teachers and librarians in assisting students, at an early age, to absorb a sustained reading culture. Ultimately, this study will bring out the benefits that students and teachers obtain from the provision of a school library so that future projects of building schools should include libraries.

It is also hoped that the research will, in this regard, further help contribute to improving literacy programmes and library services in schools to help achieve the 2nd millennium development goal as reading culture promotes an informed citizenry that is able to influence development by making informed decisions in matters of governance.

Lastly, it is hoped that the research will open up new avenues for further research to be conducted.

1.7 Limitation of Study

The study will be constrained by time, finance and mobility. The study will cover only four senior secondary schools in Mainland local Government Area of Lagos State. The study will covers the school library in promoting reading culture, availability of books and the school library, school library materials and factors militating against the SSS teachers and students in developing reading culture.

1.8 Operational definition of terms

Reading - is an activity which helps to develop the mind and personality of human beings and ultimately enriches their intellectual lives

Reading Culture - a way of life where reading is regarded as highly appreciated and valued by members of a given community, in this case the school community.

School Librarian - a professionally qualified librarian employed to operate a library within a school.

Class Library: a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined classroom for reference or borrowing.

School Library: is an information on services, which provide physical or digital access to materials, and may be a physical building, or a virtual space, or both.

Developing Reading Culture: is a sustained regime of reading textual and non-textual materials for the purpose of broadening the horizon of knowledge within and outside one’s disciplinary interest.

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