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An Exploratory Case Study of Library Anxiety and Basic Skills
        Students in a California Community College
                                 By
                      Scott W. Lee, MSLS, EdD
What is Library Anxiety (LA)
 Similarto Other Academic Anxieties (Math Anxiety, Text Anxiety, Computer
  Anxiety)

 Fear,   trepidation, intimidation of any or all things library related.

 Term first coined by Constance Mellon in 1986 based on analysis of student
  journals.
Mellon’s Findings
 Main   Sources of Fear
    Building Layout
    Research Process

 Students   Do Not Seek Help
    Embarrassed by lack of knowledge and assumed everyone else had it.

I   found previous research (1972, 1982) that showed same.
Basic Skills
 California   Community College (CCC) term for Developmental Education (DE)

 DEStudent: College Student Below College Level in Math, Reading, and/or
  Writing
     40% in US, 70%-80% in CCC’s
     Most states focus DE in Community Colleges
     Also called: Remedial, At-Risk, High-Risk
My Study
 Conducted    at Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)
    Largest CC in US (240K Students)
    Spread Over 800 Square Miles
    I drove 2800 miles to collect my data.

 Mixed   Methods: Quantitative (Survey) followed by Qualitative (Interviews)

 Data   Collected: March – May 2010
Quantitative
 The   Library Anxiety Scale (LAS)
    The LAS was developed by Sharon Bostick in 1991 to measure Library Anxiety
    Used in Over 30 Studies Before

 Administered    to 191 Students at 8 of the 9 Colleges of LACCD

 Only   Used Students at Highest Level of Basic Skills English Before Transfer
 Level
Qualitative
 Interviewed     13 Quantitative Participants
     In Person, One-to-One
     Five Colleges – Harbor (3), Mission (2), City (3), Trade-Tech (1), Pierce (4)
     Paid Each Participant $10 and Raffle Entry for One of Three iPods
Findings - Quantitative
 Analysis   was Descriptive (Univariate & Bivariate)

 LAS   Scores for LACCD:
   Total    LAS Range is 43 - 215
     Mean: 102
     Highest: 174, Lowest: 43
     Study Means of Past LA Research (98, 96, 129)
Findings - Quantitative
 Means

     Gender: No Difference (M:102, F:101)
     Ethnicity: Asians Scored Highest (106), African-Americans Scored Lowest (94)

 Age:   No Trend

 Employment:     More Hours = More LA

 Library   Experience: More Recent Experience = Less LA
Findings - Qualitative
 Three   Areas of Inquiry
    Awareness of Academic Libraries
    Use of Academic Libraries
    Value Placed on Academic Libraries
Findings - Qualitative
 Awareness

    No Connection Between LA and Awareness
    Awareness Primarily Affected by Classroom Faculty
        Students who were guided to library by classroom or other faculty were more
         aware.
        Most received little to no guidance.
        Most students reported few, if any, research-based assignments.
        Most reported no BI experiences.
Findings - Qualitative
 Use

    Increase in LA equaled decrease in use.
    Students used library computers more than any other service or resource.
    Students made significant use of the library building as a place to study.
    Students used public libraries and academic libraries interchangeably.
Findings - Qualitative
 Value

    Student valuations of academic libraries not connected to LA.
    Most students viewed the library as a necessity for a successful college student.
        Some disagreed and felt the Internet could replace a library.
    I found conflict between student valuations of the library and their use of them
     with students placing a high value on libraries while they were not using them
     much.
Findings - Qualitative
 Value   (cont.)
    Students primarily viewed the library as a:
      Tool (to accomplish tasks)

      Convenience (for access to the building and computers)

      House of Knowledge

    Student perspectives on librarians:
      All had a positive view.

      Referred to librarians as“teachers”and“Guru’s”.

      Valued for expertise in campus-specific knowledge.
Recommendations
 #1: Community college libraries should recognized the existence of library
  anxiety in development education students and consider it for all services to
  that population.
Recommendations
 #2: Community college libraries should develop better connections with the
  developmental education staff on campus.
Recommendations
 #3: Community college libraries should engage classroom instructors to
  inform them of the value that libraries can offer to students.
Recommendations
 #4:  Community college libraries should find a balance between serving the
  technology needs of students and fulfilling an educational role at the
  college.

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An exploratory case study of library anxiety

  • 1. An Exploratory Case Study of Library Anxiety and Basic Skills Students in a California Community College By Scott W. Lee, MSLS, EdD
  • 2. What is Library Anxiety (LA)  Similarto Other Academic Anxieties (Math Anxiety, Text Anxiety, Computer Anxiety)  Fear, trepidation, intimidation of any or all things library related.  Term first coined by Constance Mellon in 1986 based on analysis of student journals.
  • 3. Mellon’s Findings  Main Sources of Fear  Building Layout  Research Process  Students Do Not Seek Help  Embarrassed by lack of knowledge and assumed everyone else had it. I found previous research (1972, 1982) that showed same.
  • 4. Basic Skills  California Community College (CCC) term for Developmental Education (DE)  DEStudent: College Student Below College Level in Math, Reading, and/or Writing  40% in US, 70%-80% in CCC’s  Most states focus DE in Community Colleges  Also called: Remedial, At-Risk, High-Risk
  • 5. My Study  Conducted at Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)  Largest CC in US (240K Students)  Spread Over 800 Square Miles  I drove 2800 miles to collect my data.  Mixed Methods: Quantitative (Survey) followed by Qualitative (Interviews)  Data Collected: March – May 2010
  • 6. Quantitative  The Library Anxiety Scale (LAS)  The LAS was developed by Sharon Bostick in 1991 to measure Library Anxiety  Used in Over 30 Studies Before  Administered to 191 Students at 8 of the 9 Colleges of LACCD  Only Used Students at Highest Level of Basic Skills English Before Transfer Level
  • 7. Qualitative  Interviewed 13 Quantitative Participants  In Person, One-to-One  Five Colleges – Harbor (3), Mission (2), City (3), Trade-Tech (1), Pierce (4)  Paid Each Participant $10 and Raffle Entry for One of Three iPods
  • 8. Findings - Quantitative  Analysis was Descriptive (Univariate & Bivariate)  LAS Scores for LACCD:  Total LAS Range is 43 - 215  Mean: 102  Highest: 174, Lowest: 43  Study Means of Past LA Research (98, 96, 129)
  • 9. Findings - Quantitative  Means  Gender: No Difference (M:102, F:101)  Ethnicity: Asians Scored Highest (106), African-Americans Scored Lowest (94)  Age: No Trend  Employment: More Hours = More LA  Library Experience: More Recent Experience = Less LA
  • 10. Findings - Qualitative  Three Areas of Inquiry  Awareness of Academic Libraries  Use of Academic Libraries  Value Placed on Academic Libraries
  • 11. Findings - Qualitative  Awareness  No Connection Between LA and Awareness  Awareness Primarily Affected by Classroom Faculty  Students who were guided to library by classroom or other faculty were more aware.  Most received little to no guidance.  Most students reported few, if any, research-based assignments.  Most reported no BI experiences.
  • 12. Findings - Qualitative  Use  Increase in LA equaled decrease in use.  Students used library computers more than any other service or resource.  Students made significant use of the library building as a place to study.  Students used public libraries and academic libraries interchangeably.
  • 13. Findings - Qualitative  Value  Student valuations of academic libraries not connected to LA.  Most students viewed the library as a necessity for a successful college student.  Some disagreed and felt the Internet could replace a library.  I found conflict between student valuations of the library and their use of them with students placing a high value on libraries while they were not using them much.
  • 14. Findings - Qualitative  Value (cont.)  Students primarily viewed the library as a:  Tool (to accomplish tasks)  Convenience (for access to the building and computers)  House of Knowledge  Student perspectives on librarians:  All had a positive view.  Referred to librarians as“teachers”and“Guru’s”.  Valued for expertise in campus-specific knowledge.
  • 15. Recommendations  #1: Community college libraries should recognized the existence of library anxiety in development education students and consider it for all services to that population.
  • 16. Recommendations  #2: Community college libraries should develop better connections with the developmental education staff on campus.
  • 17. Recommendations  #3: Community college libraries should engage classroom instructors to inform them of the value that libraries can offer to students.
  • 18. Recommendations  #4: Community college libraries should find a balance between serving the technology needs of students and fulfilling an educational role at the college.