2008-01-19Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/1281
Are Portuguese School Libraries Providing Access toInformation for Everyone?
The Case of 20 Selected Ones
This paper aims at describing the today’s reality of 20 school libraries (SL) belonging to Portuguese public basic integrated schools (Escolas Básicas Integradas, EBIs), which were in the school libraries network (Rede de Bibliotecas Escolares, RBE) till 2005, in terms of their human resources, clients, physical space, books and other materials’ collection and some ongoing activities. This paper is based on the field notes analysis and non-participant direct observation that took place at 20 SL during November and December 2006 and January 2007. This was the 2nd phase, out of four, of a PhD program research for which was adopted a qualitative methodology both for data gathering and analysis techniques. In this sense, the majority of data were obtained through semi-structured interviews and field notes taken during about 4 hours of non participant direct observation to selected respondents. By the end of this research phase it was found that the most significant element in bring about improvements was the commitment and support of the school’s management board. Nevertheless, school libraries with more students coming in, more activities, larger and catalogued/classified book stock, more equipment and with better physical space, have team members with adequate training for the development of their tasks and roles. Recommendations/suggestions are given both to school management boards and the ones responsible for the development of school libraries in schools, the RBE and the regional education authorities, aiming at placing school libraries on the top educational priorities, therefore recognizing them as an important point of access to information for everyone.
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