Academic journal article School Libraries Worldwide

Enhancing Quality Learning: The Impact of School Library Services to Students in Nigeria

Academic journal article School Libraries Worldwide

Enhancing Quality Learning: The Impact of School Library Services to Students in Nigeria

Article excerpt


School libraries occupy a significant position in discussions on learning and many international studies have asserted the positive role school libraries have exerted on education, linking them directly to the improvement of students' academic performance, also in secondary education. With regards to the purposes of school libraries, CILIP/DFES/SLA/ASCEL, (2003, p.) identified seven roles they perform to include:

* Leading the teaching and learning of information literacy across the curriculum;

* Collaborating with teachers to embed information literacy across the curriculum;

* Providing training for teachers and students;

* Offering a suitable environment for research;

* Affording access to a wide range of resources;

* Facilitating opportunities to browse and discover; and

* Stimulating independent learning.

In Nigeria, many secondary schools both public and private are established without consideration for including school libraries. Education authorities who know the importance of school libraries fail to include libraries in the process of planning to establish secondary schools. This situation seems a global phenomenon. According to Shenton (2014), "In Britain, we live in an era libraries are being downgraded or even discarded completely, and instances in which new schools are opening without any physical library are all too frequent" (p. 141). Barrett and Douglas (2004) recognised that people develop as a result of the school library services and the work of the school librarian can be powerful and persuasive. Similarly, Broady-Preston and Lobo (2011) argued that the role and function of school libraries is closely tied to and contingent on the educational mission and institution of the school.

Studies on the impact of school libraries in different parts of the world (Lonsdale, 2003; Lance, et al., 2005; Achterman, 2008) revealed that:

* Sufficiently financed school libraries staffed with qualified school librarians influence student's academic performance, regardless of their socio-economic status or educational background;

* Students' examination performance is higher when school libraries' usage increases;

* Furthermore, the frequency with which students borrow books from school libraries is indicative of students bond with studying. In schools with libraries and trained library personnel, students tend to read more, not exclusively for their school work, but also for general information and for the sake of entertainment in its own right;

* The quality of the school library book collection and the presence of a powerful computer network connecting classrooms with library resources have a significant relationship with student success. Furthermore, the incorporation of information literacy into the curriculum may improve the knowledge and skills of students;

* Teacher/school librarian partnership has a strong positive impact on learning;

* An study environment with the appropriate is the best predictor for comprehension, vocabulary building, spelling, and writing style of the students;

* Librarians strengthen students' sense of self-esteem, self-confidence, independence and responsibility in students and lead them to better performance. Therefore, school library usages reinforces students' school performance, even in this indirect way; and

* School librarians have a bigger positive impact on primary and junior high level students.

When students reach university level, they are expected to use the library more. Being fresh from secondary schools, it is expected that they have a little knowledge about using the library. Although, some come into the university with little knowledge on how to use the library, it has been discovered that many of them still do not know how to adequately use the library resources available to them. The study by Agboola and Bamigboye (2011) concluded that there was an under-use of library resources either print or electronic format by the first year students compared to students at higher levels. …

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