Evaluation of the reference collection at jesup elementary school

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Evaluation of the reference collection at jesup elementary school

  1. 1. Evaluation of the Reference Collection at Jesup Elementary School<br />I evaluated the reference collection at a local elementary school. Upon visiting the collection, I immediately noticed that it was very small. Compared to the other sections of the library, it seemed almost nonexistent. I remembered that the librarian had pointed this out when she originally introduced me to the library, and she explained that she was working on " building up" this portion of the collection. Other observations of the reference section included the fact that it was extremely dusty, proving that it was very seldom used.  Therefore, one focus of expanding the reference collection should be an attempt to find resources that students and teachers find appealing and easy to use. Another observation was the section's lack of material in Spanish. Since there is an increasing number of Spanish-speaking students in the community and school, this must be addressed. And finally, the last general observation that I noticed was that the collection lacked bibliographies and almanacs, so these two should take priority when ordering additional reference material. The collection, which includes a small section in the media center and three mobile carts, includes several encyclopedia sets, atlases, dictionaries, thesauruses, Bibles, and a small variety of other reference books. <br />A closer look at the collection proved that while there were some new and current titles, parts of the section desperately needed weeding. Some of the reference books were published in the 1960s! Wow! Quiet a lot has changed since then! When I looked for average copyright date, the thesauruses were the overall newest collection with an average publication date of 2000, while the general reference books were the oldest, with an average copyright of 1993. Dictionaries averaged a copyright date of 1999 (though I would like to say here that the majority of the dictionaries were published in 2005 and a few older books brought down the average for this section), the atlases averaged a copyright date of 1994, the encyclopedias averaged 1995, and the Bibles (all of which were donated by a local church) averaged 1994. Therefore, the collection was in desperate need of updates, as the average copyright dates for all of the reference materials was over ten years old!<br />The last observation I made about the reference section in general was that most of the material tended to focus on the middle grades served at the elementary school, primarily 2nd and 3rd grade. Prior to this academic year, the school only served 2nd and 3rd grade students. At the beginning of this year, the county made all elementary schools K-5 schools rather than splitting them up across the county according to grade. While the libraries tried to " share" the material that they had, the majority of the reference collection here still focused on 2nd and 3rd grade students. Also, next year the county will add Pre-K to all of the sites, so the library will serve an even broader age range. Therefore, it is important that the library reference collection is expanded to adequately serve the needs of these new school additions. As a result, a focus of this reference evaluation should be adding more resources suitable for Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.<br />

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