Boelens, Helen Session Pp Virtual Journey In 61 European Contries

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Boelens, Helen Session Pp Virtual Journey In 61 European Contries

  1. 1. Presented at the IASL 2009 Annual Conference Abano Terme (Padua), Italy, 2 - 4 September 2009 38th Annual Conference incorporating the 13th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship by: Helen Boelens, Ph.D. Research student, Middlesex University, London, U.K.
  2. 2.  How this study began
  3. 3.  It is a European (international) study.  A positive study makes it possible to present research to the international community (EU, and other international organisations).  It has both educational and political implications.
  4. 4.  International definitions are needed: ◦ What is a school library? ◦ What is its purpose?  Gates, 1968: ‘The purpose of school libraries has always been to support instruction in the school’.  Clyde, 1981: ‘While the school library is a widely occurring institution which most people readily identify and understand, its history tends to be treated in the literature as a subsidiary part of the history of the public or children’s library, or as minor aspect of educational history.’
  5. 5. What do pupils learn in the school library? Who runs the school library?
  6. 6. Difficulties in collecting data; Verified by other international surveys.
  7. 7.  School libraries in countries which were part of the former U.S.S.R, or  School libraries which came under communist influence after World War 2.  How can these school libraries be described: facilities, etc. compared with other countries in this survey? When were they set up?  Do they comply with the IFLA School Library Manifesto?
  8. 8.  Albania : 1700 school libraries  Armenia : 1353 school libraries  Azerbaijan : No information received  Belarus : No information received  Bosnia & Herzegovina : 204 school libraries  Bulgaria (2 figures received: 1465 or 2599 school libraries  Croatia : 1264 school libraries  Czech Rep. : 4151 school libraries  Estonia : 451 school libraries  Rep. of Georgia : No information received  Germany (former DDR) : See country report Germany  Hungary : 4347 school libraries  Kazakhstan : 6852 school libraries  Kyrgyzstan : 2133 school libraries A total of approx. 140,000 school libraries.  Latvia : 1099 school libraries  Lithuania : 1312 school libraries  Rep. of Macedonia : No information received  Moldava : 1433 school libraries  Poland : 15200 school libraries  Romania : No information received  Russia : 66000 school libraries  Serbia : 1700 school libraries  Slovakia : 5483 school libraries  Slovenia : 648 school libraries  Tajikistan : No information received  Turkmenistan : No information received  Ukraine : 20600 school libraries  Uzbekistan : No information received.
  9. 9. Which countries are included in this survey?  Albania  Andorra  Armenia  Austria  Azerbaijan  Belarus  Belgium (3 communities)  Bosnia & Herzegovina  Bulgaria  Croatia  Cyprus  Czech Rep.  Denmark  Estonia  Finland  France  Rep. of Georgia  Germany  Greece  Hungary  Iceland  Rep. of Ireland  Italy  Kazakhstan  Kosovo  Kyrgyzstan  Latvia  Liechtenstein  Lithuania  Luxembourg  Rep. of Macedonia  Malta  Moldavia  Monaco  Montenegro  Netherlands  Norway  Poland  Portugal  Romania  Russian Federation  San Marino  Serbia  Slovakia  Slovenia  Spain  Sweden  Switzerland  Tajikistan  Turkey  Turkmenistan  Ukraine  United Kingdom (incl. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)  Uzbekistan.
  10. 10. List of official or national languages which have been taken into account in this study (52 languages).  Abkhazian  Albanian  Armenian  Azerbaijani  Azeri  Basque  Belarusian  Bosnian  Bulgarian  Catalan  Croatian  Czech  Danish  Dutch, (Netherlands), Flemish  English  Estonian  Finnish  French  Frisian  Galician  Georgian  German  Greek  Hungarian  Icelandic  Irish  Italian  Kazakh  Kyrgyz  Latvian  Lithuanian  Luxembourgish  Macedonian  Maltese  Moldovan  Norwegian  Polish  Portuguese  Romanian  Romansh  Russian  Serbian  Serbo-Croatian  Slovak  Slovenian  Spanish (Castilian)  Swedish  Tajik  Turkish  Turkmen  Ukrainian  Uzbek
  11. 11.  Via 4 ENSIL surveys;  From both traditional and digital information resources: Books, reports, surveys etc.;  Interviews (traditional and via Internet;  Using Web 2.0 communication
  12. 12.  Language  Definitions – data must be based on the same definitions  Differences in school systems  Accurate information – other international reports reveal discrepancies.
  13. 13.  Population, GNI per capita;  Education at primary and secondary school level (expenditure on education, adult literacy, school enrolment ratios, training of teachers, compulsory education and gross enrolment rates;  Ranking in international tests related to educational achievement;  Introduction of ICT into schools (including school library);  ICT policy in schools;  Media, information and new literacy policies;  Libraries, incl. School libraries and information centres;  General background information;  Specific information about school libraries and information centres.
  14. 14.  Question 1: What is the present state of school libraries at European level? What is their mission?  Answer: Since many of the countries in this survey do not use a specific definition for what a school library actually is, there is no specific way in which this question can be answered. This study has revealed a great diversity in ‘school libraries’. Some are of excellent quality and are run by trained personnel. Others are merely a box of books in a school cupboard. The mission of the school library has not been clearly defined in many countries.
  15. 15.  Question 2: What are the goals of the school library in a digital Europe?  Answer: The School Library Manifesto (IFLA/UNESCO 1999) and the School Library Guidelines (IFLA/UNESCO 2002) define these goals in the countries which are members of these organisation and use these definitions. Clear English definitions (per country) of what the ‘school library’ actually is, and how it can be defined and exists within the present day educational process, were difficult to locate.
  16. 16.  Question 3: What is the role of school libraries and the library staff within the school since the introduction of educational reforms, ICT and new forms of learning into schools?  Answer: This role varies from country to country. In countries which fall into the middle or low income bracket, emphasis is placed on the importance of the school library, however its role is often concerned with literacy goals and the distribution of books and textbooks. In some countries with a high GNI per capita, the school library and the library staff play an important role in the implementation of ICT and new forms of learning in an interdisciplinary way throughout the school.
  17. 17.  Question 4: Is it possible to evaluate the effect which these school libraries have on educational quality, learning outcomes and academic achievement, at European level?  Answer: This would need to be the subject of a further, very specific study, at European level. This study could be carried out, per country, using the guidelines of earlier studies which have already taken place in the U.S.A. and Australia. These earlier studies indicate that the school library has a positive effect on educational quality and academic achievement.
  18. 18.  Question 5: Would it be possible to introduce the sub-matrix known as the KILM into these school libraries?  Answer: This would be primarily dependent upon the educational vision and leadership qualities of the school leadership. It would then depend upon the quality of the library staff and the facilities which are available within the school and the school library.
  19. 19.  Question 6:  What facilities would be needed for a successful implementation?  Answer:  These facilities may vary – the ability of the school library staff to adjust to different facilities is the most important factor.
  20. 20.  Question 7: A. What are the critical success factors. B. Are there other factors which are important in order to implement the KILM throughout the school?  Answer: A. These will be described when the dissertation has been approved. B. The co-operation between different members of the school staff,
  21. 21.  Question 8:  What changes in educational quality, learning outcomes and educational achievement could be expected?  Answer:  An increase in educational quality, learning outcomes and academic achievement.
  22. 22. 1. The quality of education, at European level is limited, per country, by various factors such as poverty, wars and disasters, politics, educational policy and the quality of the education system, investment in education, the academic quality of the teaching staff, the facilities which the school provides and the attitudes of the school community, including pupils and parents. 2. The quality of the school library is only partially dependent upon the facilities or the amount of ICT hardware or software which it has at its disposal. These facilities need to be in balance with the educational objectives of the school (Kennisnet, 2006). These factors are co-ordinated by the school leadership. 3. Countries which have made large investments in education and also in ICT hardware and software have not necessarily shown an increase in educational quality and academic achievement. 4. School libraries are special libraries which play an important role in two different processes – the educational process and the library process. Co-operation between these two processes is essential if school libraries are to be effective. School libraries no longer play a dependent role in education and librarianship (Clyde, 1981). 5. Since the introduction of ICT within the school, the trained school librarian plays an even more important and essential additional role - that of a school information specialist.
  23. 23. 6. The national school library law in each country is very important. It provides clear definitions of a “school library” and also describes the work of the school library; it provides “status” for the school library and reduces confusion which may result in inaccurate data being forwarded to national or international surveys. 7. Accurate, quality data on school libraries needs to be collected at national level, on a worldwide basis. 8. Some countries within Europe do not have a school library tradition. 9. All libraries should support each other’s work. There should not be a competition for status or funding.
  24. 24.  Under certain specific circumstances and when there is co-operation within the school community, school libraries enhance academic achievement.  The school librarian is qualified as both a teacher and a librarian. This person teaches/ instructs pupils and teachers throughout the school, and has similar status to other teachers.  The training and re-training of school librarians is imperative and must occur frequently, in order to keep abreast of new ICT trends. The research shows that this essential training at tertiary level no longer takes place in a number of countries, for various reasons.  School leaders and other teachers sometimes do not understand the work which the school librarian carries out. They do not realise the many advantages of co-operation with the school librarian.
  25. 25.  My thanks to people from many different countries and cultures, and who spoke many different languages, who joined together with me to make this survey of school libraries possible.  They have tried to tell the international community what school libraries in their countries are like.  Information was provided in an atmosphere of trust and co-operation. The researcher is very grateful for this support but is also aware of the ethical responsibility to present this information in a fair, responsible and impartial way.  Thanks to all my virtual friends and colleagues for their co-operation.

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