HHS Library Quarterly Report

March-May 2013


Students Read...

The chart below illustrates circulations this quarter as they compare to circulations during fourth quarter of last school year as well as a comparison of total circulations between the last two school years. Overall, circulation was not high this quarter. In fact, the number of books circulated was the lowest of any time period during the last two years. This quarter, 598 books were checked out as compared to 1406 during fourth quarter in the 2011-2012 school year. 4178 total books were checked out during 2012-2013, compared to 6805 during 2011-2012.

At face value, those numbers are pretty discouraging to me. I wonder what is happening to make circulation go down that much from last year to this year. It could be any of a number of factors. I do try to remember, though, that just because students are not checking out books does not mean they are not reading. It is much more difficult to quantitatively measure the reading students do when they use online databases or read books online, for example. One of my goals for the next couple of years is to come up with a way to measure ALL the reading students are doing, not just through the number of books checked out from the library.

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To continue working towards the goal of helping students find books to read either for pleasure or to help meet a goal, 19 titles were purchased this quarter. Some of them are pictured below.

Students research...

Although there was some research that happened in the library, less of it this quarter seemed to be teacher-directed. At this point in the year, teachers seemed to give parameters and let students complete their projects at their own pace. Mrs. Johnston's and Mr. Broadfoot's classes both completed research papers, and Mrs. Schroeder's ceramics class completed a research project as part of their final assignments.

Students respond...

Towards the end of the year, I sent out a survey to all freshman, sophomores, and juniors with questions related to their feelings about reading, literacy, and the library. 36% of freshman, 29% of sophomores, and 35% of juniors completed the survey, and a total of 66 students. Some of the answers to questions were not completely surprising, but I was surprised by a few of them. When asked if they call themselves a reader, 35 students answered yes while 31 students answered no. When asked the reasons they usually check out books from the library, 27 students answered to get books to read for fun, 35 students answered to get books to read for seminar, and 34 students answered to get books to help with assignments. When asked if they use other libraries, 33 students answered they do not use other libraries, but 30 students answered that they also use the Hesston Public Library. The result of this question suggests to me that I can be doing more to work with the staff there to provide resources to our students. The most surprising answers to me were in regards to e-reading. When asked if they preferred to read print or digital for fun and to complete assignments, in both cases the majority of students indicated they prefer to read print. When asked if they would be interested in checking ebooks out from the library, 35 students said no and 31 said yes. I'll be interested to see if the results of this question change in the coming years as more students are used to being online and as teachers' expectations change. I will plan to send this survey out again next year to continually shape how the library can best serve the students of HHS.

What's next?

The biggest answer to the question of "What's next?" is the updating of the physical space of the library. This summer I am spending quite a bit of time changing the layout of the library as we add booths and new seating to the front space and update the look of the "back room." One of the questions on the survey was a place for students to offer suggestions to make the library better, and several students suggested "new/better/more seating." Hopefully the new look will be a way to bring students to the library.

Another question on the survey was in regards to what programming students would be likely to attend. 16 students answered they would likely attend book talks to learn about new books in the library. I would like to explore a way to more purposefully share new books with students, perhaps having seminar classes come in once in awhile during the seminar period.

I am excited about the new website coming to the district. I have felt like one thing the library is missing a user-friendly web space. I hope to be able to create a space online that students can use to easily find the resources they need.

Finally, as always, I am always looking for ways to collaborate with teachers at the high school. I envision the library as a place where teachers and I can work with students to explore, to create, to learn, and to connect, whether using print or technology resources.

"Powerful libraries--and librarians--do, indeed, make powerful learners." ~Keith Curry Lance

Rachel Yoder

HHS Library Media Specialist