The school library as a learning and teaching resource : a survey of library use by Standard Six pupils and teachers in selected primary schools in Peninsular Malaysia
This study is basically a survey designed to investigate whether primary school libraries in Malaysia are used for the purpose of learning and teaching. This study is the first of its kind in Malaysia, involving the three main groups connected with library use in schools, namely pupils, teachers and' teacher-librarians. The subjects of the study are Standard Six pupils, teachers and teacher-librarians from thirty-four selected schools throughout Peninsular Malaysia. They comprise 3,417 pupils (11-12 years old), 152 teachers and 34 teacher-librarians. Questionnaire data were obtained to examine the following areas: 1. Use of the library by Malaysian primary school children. 2. Perception, role and involvement of teachers in library activities. 3. Perception, role and involvement of teacher-librarians in library activities. The study also examined to what extent the "Project to Encourage the Use of the School Library" undertaken at federal and state levels from 1981-1985 had been successful in encouraging and promoting library use in primary schools. The questionnaire data provided the quantitative input, while field visits to ten schools to interview teachers, teacher-librarians and pupils as well as 10 observe library periods provided the in-depth and qualitative perspectives to the study. The quantitative data were tabulated and comparisons between Project and Non-project schools were made. Where appropriate, chi-square tests of significant differences were made. Some of the major findings were: 1. That Malaysian primary school children: (a) use the library at least once a week mainly to borrow and relurn books; (b) tend to borrow a mixture of fiction and nonfiction books but more of fiction; (c) occasionally use library books for learning. 2. That Malaysian primary school teachers: (a) consider higher order teaching objectives more important; (b) send pupils to the library at least once a week; (c) do use library materials for teaching; (d) are of the opinion that reading and reference materials in their library are available and suitable forteaching but for a majority of them not adequate for learning needs; (e) are generally involved in library activities, but not for teachingllearning purposes. 3. That teacher-librarians in Malaysian primary schools: (a) are mainly responsible for book acquisition and selection; (b) have a greater teaching workload than library workload; (c) are exposed to library skills and library use as teacher-trainees; (d) are generally trained in librarianship with 17.6% having dual qualifications. 4. That the Project had been successful in encouraging and promoting library use for teaching and learning in primary schools. Based on the findings, recommendations were made.