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The Impact of Subscription Electronic Resources on Selection Decisions by Media Specialists and Utilization Practices by...


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THE IMPACT OF SUBSCRIPTION ELEC TRONIC RESOURCES ON SELECTION DECISIONS BY MEDIA SPECIALISTS AND UTILIZATION PRACTICES BY TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN ELEMEN TARY LIBRARY MEDIA CENTERS By SEAMUS B. EDDY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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Copyright 2007 by Seamus B. Eddy

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iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would first like to thank my supervisi ng committee chair, Dr. Jeff Hurt, for his continual guidance throughout my doctoral education. I very much appreciate the time, direction, and support that he provided over th e years. I would also like to thank Dr. Kenneth La mb for his friendship and direction with my study’s statistical analysis Dr. Lamb was instrumental in my completion of this dissertation on schedule. Thanks also go to Dr. Mary Hall, Dr. Sebastian Foti, and Dr. Katherine Gratto for all of their prof essional expertise and assistance. I would also like to thank tw o of my friends from the University of Florida who gave me as much support as any professor. I owe much to both Dr. Richard Hartshorne from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Carl Fields, who will be graduating with his Ph.D. in Educational Technology fr om the University of Florida in 2007, for their friendship and help dur ing the last 5 years. Finally, love and thanks go to my pare nts, John and Janet Eddy, for everything. Without their support I w ould have not finished.

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................vi ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Problem Statement........................................................................................................4 Purpose Statement........................................................................................................5 Research Questions.......................................................................................................5 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................5 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.......................................................................................8 Library Media Centers..................................................................................................8 Media Specialists........................................................................................................10 Selection and Collection Development......................................................................11 Subscription Electronic Resources.............................................................................12 Summary.....................................................................................................................19 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................21 Population and Sample...............................................................................................21 Instrumentation...........................................................................................................22 Preliminar y Trial.........................................................................................................22 Data Collection...........................................................................................................23 Statistical Analysis......................................................................................................24 Ethical Assurance.......................................................................................................25 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.................................................................................26 Research Question 1...................................................................................................26 Subscription Electronic Resour ces Found in Elementary School.......................26 Funding Sources Used to Purchase S ubscription Electronic Resources in Media Centers..................................................................................................27

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v Subscription Electronic Resources A ffecting Available Money for Other Materials..........................................................................................................27 Media Specialists Perceived Adequate Funding for Subscription Electronic Resources.........................................................................................................28 How Purchases for Other Materials Have Changed as a Result of Information Found on Subscription Electronic Resources..................................................28 Materials Bought or Planned to B uy that Specifically Supplement Subscription Electronic Resources..................................................................31 Amount of Materials that Have Been Superseded by Superior Information Found in Subscription Electronic Resources...................................................31 Research Question 2:..................................................................................................32 Subscription Electronic Resources A ccurately Support Sc hool Curriculum......32 Teachers Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic Resources.........................................................................................................33 Media Center Having Computer Tec hnology That Can Access Subscription Electronic Resources Effectively.....................................................................34 Media Center Having the Technology S upport for Hardware (Computers) and Software to Access Subscrip tion Electronic Resources...................................35 Summary.....................................................................................................................35 Research Question 1............................................................................................35 Research Question 2............................................................................................37 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.....................................................38 Research Question 1...................................................................................................38 Research Question 2...................................................................................................39 Findings for Research Question 2.......................................................................40 Conclusions and Recommendations for Future Studies.............................................40 Other Recommendations for Future Studies...............................................................42 APPENDIX A SPEARMAN’S RANK CORR ELATION COEFFICIENTS.....................................44 B SURVEY....................................................................................................................45 C COVER LETTER.......................................................................................................48 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................55

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vi LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Descriptions of the Number and Perc entages of Sizes of School Districts..............22 3-2 Descriptions of the School Districts, Size Codes, and Numb er of Respondents from the Sample.......................................................................................................22 4-1 Subscription Electronic Res ources Found in Elementary School............................26 4-2 Funding Sources Used to Purchase Subs cription Electronic Resources in Media Centers......................................................................................................................27 4-3 Subscription Electronic Resources Effecting Available Money for Other Materials...................................................................................................................28 4-4 Media Specialists Perceived Adequa te Funding for Subscription Electronic Resources.................................................................................................................28 4-5 How Purchases for Other Materials Ha ve Changed as a Result of Information Found on Subscription Electronic Resources...........................................................30 4-6 How Media Specialists Would Spend Extra Money in Budget...............................30 4-7 Materials Bought or Planned to Buy th at Specifically Supp lement Subscription Electronic Resources................................................................................................31 4-8 Amount of Materials that Have Been Superseded by Superior Information Found in Subscription Electronic Resources...........................................................32 4-9 Subscription Electronic Resources Accurately Support School Curriculum...........32 4-10 Teachers Effectively Understandi ng and Using Subscription Electronic Resources.................................................................................................................33 4-11 Students Effectively Understandi ng and Using Subscription Electronic Resources.................................................................................................................34 4-12 Media Center Having Computer Te chnology That Can Access Subscription Electronic Resources Effectively.............................................................................34

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vii 4-13 Media Center Having the Technology Support for Hardware (Computers) and Software to Access Subscrip tion Electronic Resources...........................................35 A-1. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients of interest comparing survey questions 6, 7, 8, and 9.............................................................................................................44

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viii Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education THE IMPACT OF SUBSCRIPTION ELEC TRONIC RESOURCES ON SELECTION DECISIONS BY MEDIA SPECIALISTS AND UTILIZATION PRACTICES BY TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN ELEMEN TARY LIBRARY MEDIA CENTERS By Seamus B. Eddy May 2007 Chair: Jeff Hurt Major Department: Teaching and Learning Media specialists’ selection decisions fo r collection development determine the materials found in elementary library media cen ters and schools. Our study examined the extent to which subscription electronic re sources (SERs) effect elementary media specialists’ selection decisi ons. Subscription electronic resources also must be effectively utilized by teachers and students. Therefore, we also determined to what extent teachers and students effectively utilize SERs in elementary library media centers. Results indicated that SERs did not have a major effect on media specialists’ selection decisions for other materials in elementary library media center collections. We also found that media specialists do not prioritize adding additional SERs with existing SERs. The SERs generally do not have a significant influence on the addition of many materials specifically designed to supplement the use of SERs or superseding other materials found in elementary library media centers. Findi ngs also showed that although SERs support school curriculum, they are only marginal ly utilized by teachers and students.

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ix Elementary library media centers were also found to have ade quate technological hardware and support personnel for use of SERs The results of this study provide a foundation for future research related to SE Rs impact on media specialists’ selection decisions and on the effective utilization of SERs by teachers and students in library media centers.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION According to the American Association of School Librarians and Association for Educational Communications and Technology (1988), the purpose of the library media center in schools is to provi de teachers and students with educational resources and learning activities (AASL/AECT, 1988). Libr ary media centers are facilities located within schools that house, display, circulate, and facilitate the use of materials to their users. They provide materials for teac hers and students that support the schools’ curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1999, 1987). As the hub of student learni ng in schools, library media centers have been shown to have a positive impact on student learning (Didier, 1984, Lance, 2002, Lance, Welborn, & Hamilton-Pennell, 1993). By law or mandate in most states, li brary media centers are administrated by certified media specialists. Media specialists promote and direct th eir school’s library media programs (AASL/AECT, 1988, 1998, Cleaver & Taylor, 1989, Doll, 2005, Kearney, 2000). They are responsible, among many other services, fo r the selection of materials that become a part of their lib rary media center collections (AASL/AECT, 1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). “Selection is an active process performed by professional librarians who consider and make purchasing decisions on the basis of their knowledge of the collection as a whole and the needs of the c lients of the lib rary” (Orick, 2000, p.316). Selection is an essential servi ce performed by media specialists because it determines the curricular material for collection development in library media centers

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2 (AASL/AECT, 1988, Evans, 2000, Gardner, 1981, Prostano & Prostano, 1987). Consequently, selection and collection develo pment choices can affect the extent to which teachers and students effectively us e quality materials to promote student achievement (Krashen, 2004, Lance, 2002). Collection development in elementary lib rary media centers should always support the curricular guidelines of the school (AASL/AECT 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz 1988, Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Suppor ting school curriculum is the primary function of all library media programs (Pro stano & Prostano, 1999). However, selection and collection development are continuous pro cesses that evolve with changes in school curriculum, clientele needs, and the integrati on of educational technology. As selection and collection development evolve, media spec ialists are faced with new challenges in providing updated curricular resources to their client ele. Recently, collection development plans have had to contend with th e contrasting issues of high user demands for electronic resources, such as subscription electronic reso urces, and limited funding in library budgets (Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000). In addressing these demand issues, media sp ecialists have integrated Internet-based electronic resources into their collections. The availability of Internet websites provides extensive amounts of educational information and resources to teachers and students in schools (Bitter & Pierson, 2002, Heinic h, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002, MacDonald, 1997, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Ho wever, because they are unregulated, many Internet websites do not possess valid or reliable content for educational purposes (Brooks, 2001, Heinich, Molenda, Ru ssell, & Smaldino, 2002, Sweetland, 2000). Inaccurate information found on Internet websites has led media specialists to select and

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3 acquire subscription electronic resources in their collections (Brooks, 2001, Gregory, 2000). Subscription electronic resources (SERs) are online electronic resources accessed through the Internet that provi de specialized curricular suppo rt for a contracted fee. Educational information retrieved from SERs is more accurate and current than general information retrieved on Internet website s (Gregory, 2000). S ubscription electronic resources also provide teachers and students with current curr icular information that is readily available. Therefore, media specialis ts are increasingly selecting and integrating subscription electronic resources as necessa ry educational resources for elementary library media centers. Research indicates that media specialists’ selection decisions ar e being affected by the presence of SERs (Davis, 1997, Evan s, 2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Although SERs are effective curricular tools for learning, they are very expensive to acquire and maintain (Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Library media center resources are limited and must be allo cated efficiently to all library media center programs (Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Cons equently, limited library media program budgets may cause SERs to alter selection de cisions for other materials in elementary library media center collections. The selection of materials that are utili zed by teachers and students can positively impact student learning only as far as their eff ective use allows. In order to be effectively utilized, educational technology must support the school curriculum in a manner that supports structured student learning (AASL/AECT, 1988, 1998, Dede, 2000, Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1999) When integrat ing educational technology, such as SERs, into the teaching a nd learning environment, the use should be

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4 meaningful and effective (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Pec k, & Wilson, 1999, Roblyer, 2003, Trotter, 1998). The effectiv e utilization of educational technology is necessary to positively influence student learning (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). Subscription electronic resources should ther efore be effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Another essential factor in establishing e ffective use of SERs is for library media centers to possess adequate technology for successful operation (Lockard & Abrams, 2004, Picciano, 2006, Trotter, 1999, US Congress, 1995). Adequate technology includes both sufficient computer equipment and sk illed technology profic ient personnel. Consequently, when determining the effective utilization of SERs, it is important to know if SERs are supporting school curriculum, to understand how they are being used by teachers and students, and to identify whether library media centers possesses the adequate technology essential fo r their successful operation. Problem Statement Media specialists’ selection decisions fo r collection development determine the materials found in elementary library media cen ters and schools. As a result, selection decisions made by media specialists can have an impact on student learning (Krashen, 2004, Lance, 2002). The presence of SERs in lib rary media center collections creates the potential for significant changes to occur in selection decisions (Davis, 1997, Evans, 2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Due to limited library media program budgets, media specialists’ se lection decisions for SERs may effect selection decisions for other materials in elementary media center collections. Subscription electronic resources must also be effectively utilized by teachers and students. This is necessary in order for SERs to positively affect student learning (Dede,

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5 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). To date, no research studies have been conducted that indicate whether media specialists’ selection decisions are being affected by SERs or if SERs are being used effec tively by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Purpose Statement The purpose of this study is to determin e the extent to which the presence of subscription electronic resources affects th e selection of other library media center materials and to determine if subscription el ectronic resources are be ing effectively used by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Research Questions The main questions that this study will seek to address: 1. To what extent does the presence of subs cription electronic resources in elementary library media center collections effect media specialists’ selection decisions? 2. To what extent are subscription electroni c resources in elementary library media centers being effectively util ized by teachers and students? Significance of the Study This study is necessary because it addresse s media specialists’ selection decisions of, and the effective use of, SERs in elementary library media center collections. Selection decisions made in elementary libr ary media center collections can have a major impact on overall student learning done in schools (Krashen, 2004, Lance, 2002). The effective use of selected SERs also imp acts student learning (D ede, 2000, Jonassen, 1996, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). Thus, it is important to determine how SERs affect media specialists’ selection d ecisions for other materials found in elementary library media center collections and also to determin e how effective the utilization of SERs is by teachers and students. This study is significan t to elementary media specialists, or to

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6 those that select and acquire SERs for elemen tary library media center collections, in that it attempts to better understand SERs’ role in elementary library media center collections. Limitations The analysis of data could not be generali zed to elementary library media centers in states other than Florida. The sample of those particip ants surveyed for this study includes only kindergarten through 5th grade and pre-kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school media specialists in the State of Florida. The definition of subscripti on electronic resources could be interpreted differently by various elementary media specialists. A narrowly defined definition was not included in the data collection instrument used in this study. Definitions Collection development: “A systematic process administered by the library media staff to bring together the materials and e quipment to meet users’ needs” (AASL/ALA, 1988, p, 72). Effective use: The operation of materials in a manner that is producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect. Electronic resources: Non-print titles found in a lib rary collection designed for educational purposes that cont ain some electrical component. Library media center: The area of a school that houses educational material, equipment, expertise, and sp ace to service its clientele. Library media program: The school wide academic plan administered by media specialists to implement the curricular goa ls of the school thr ough the library media center to all of its users. Media specialist: An educator that is licensed by a state to manage and operate a library media center at a school.

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7 Selection: The process of determining exactly what educational materials will be chosen to be added to the lib rary media center’s collection. Subscription electronic resources: Educational electronic resources that are found on the Internet that must be subscribed to for a contracted time and fee.

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8 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The purpose of this chapter is to provide in -depth review of th e research literature related to the research questions. The litera ture review is divided into five sections: Library Media Centers, Medi a Specialists, Selection a nd Collection Development, Subscription Electronic Resources, and th e Effective Utilization of Subscription Electronic Resources. Library Media Centers The American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (1 988), who are a primary authority in the field of library sciences, define library media centers as a place to “provide the space for the materials, equipment, and services, needed to achieve the mission, goals, and objectives of the library media program” (AASL/AECT, 1988, p.85). Additionally, in defining the primary function to be carried out by library media centers they state, “The central function of the library media cente r facility is the housing, circulation, and centralized distribution of the collection of information resources and equipment used in the school’s instructional program” (AASL/ AECT, p.87). Library media centers house, circulate, and distribute print materials, el ectronic resources, and e quipment that enable teachers and students to utilize the various resources that support school curriculum. Library media centers are designed to pr ovide intellectual and physical access to resources that support the school curriculum in multiple subject areas and formats for its users (AASL/AECT, 1988). Prostano and Pros tano (1999) define the school curriculum

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9 as “all the learning activities pl anned, organized, and carried out under the auspices of the school” (p. 81). They claim that the goal for libra ry media centers is to have the complete integration of all educational materials into the school curriculum (Prostano & Prostano, 1999). By integrating all educational materi als into school curriculum, library media centers promote more frequent and focused us e of educational materials by teachers and students. The promotion of educational re sources positively affects student learning experiences. Eisenberg and Be rkowitz (1988) state that th e purpose of a library media center is to promote the school curriculum and to see the school’s cu rricular goals turned into student learning experiences. In order for this to occur succe ssfully, library media center patrons must have access to numerous educational resources and professional services. They also maintain that it is cruc ial for library media centers to possess a wide range of curricular resources in various formats to enhance student learning experiences. Ultimately, the goal of library media cen ters is to positively impact student achievement. Library media centers that eff ectively implement their school’s curricular programs show a positive impact on student learning. Didier (1984) synthesizes numerous readings on the positive academic impact of library media centers, proving how library media programs with centralized library media ce nters increase standardized test scores for elementary students. Lan ce, Welborn, & Hamilton-Pennell, (1993) also provide research evidence of the positive a cademic impact of library media centers on student achievement in schools. They found that the funding of library media centers directly effects student test scores. Lance (2002) also concludes that teachers and students effectively utilizing their library media center programs increase the academic

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10 achievement levels of students. Therefore, viable library media cen ters are essential to fulfilling the curricular support and student achievement in schools. Media Specialists Media specialists are responsible for ad ministering and promoting their school’s library media programs. They are “partners in the learning process that provide a link between a well developed library media progr ams and the users served by the program” (AASL/AECT, 1988, p.24). A majo r responsibility for media specialists is to translate the curricular goals of the school into l earning experiences for students (AASL/AECT, 1988, 1998, Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1989). “Libra ry media specialists have special responsibility for the information resources of schools: how information is made available, how it is integrated with curricu lum, and how students and faculty colleagues acquire the skills and attitudes that make in formation a productive presence in their lives and futures” (Cleaver & Taylor, 1989, p. vii) Kearney (2000) contends that media specialists must be knowledgeable about al l levels of school curriculum, understand curricular design, and participate in its creation if th ey are to operate an effective library media program. “Media specialists have an important role to play in the development and implantation of the general school curr iculum as a contribut or, participant, and consultant” (Prostano and Prostano, 1999, p. 81). Clearly, media specialists have numerous important responsibilities to teac hers, students, and administrators when integrating curricular materials into their media center programs. In order to provide the highest levels of service to the school community, media specialists must also provide expertise and leadership to th e school community so that the library media program is an integral part of the instructional program of the school (AASL/AECT, 1988, Doll, 2005, Kearney, 2000) They must develop lasting

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11 partnerships with teachers in the pla nning, implementation, and assessment of school curriculum so that the library media program is effectively promoted to all of its users (Doll, 2005, Kearney, 2000). For example, Doll (2005) claims media specialists’ understanding of collaboration theories and techniques can develop productive interpersonal working partnerships with t eachers and administrators. Kearney (2000) concurs in that media specialists must create active partnerships with teachers in order to successfully implement the curric ular programs of the library media center. Partnerships between media specialists and teachers should provide comprehensive assistance to both parties in achieving curricul ar programs across all subject areas (Kearney, 2000). All media specialists should have the goal of not only being successful in administering library media programs, but also effectively pr omoting them to all of its users as well. Selection and Collection Development One of the many responsibilities media specialists fulfill is the selection of library media center materials for collection development (AASL/AECT, 1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1987). Selection is the process of media specialists making decisions on what materials to add to their library media cente r collections. “Collection development is a systematic process administered by the library media staff to bring together the materials and equipment to meet user’s needs” ( AASL/AECT, 1988, p. 72). Evans (2000) stresses the fundamental importance of collection de velopment is that it “is the process of creating a plan to correct co llection weaknesses while mainta ining its strengths” (p.70). Prostano & Prostano (1987) offer that the purpose of collection development is to translate knowledge of user needs into action through evaluation, selection, acquisition, and organizational processes. Media specialis ts are responsible for all of these actions and must take an active role in evaluati ng their collections ro utinely in order to

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12 successfully select new materials for collec tions. Selection and collection development are comprehensive and require sk illed professionals to administer successfully. Gardner (1981) proposes that selection decisions fo r materials are made on a continuum between the perceived quality of the material and the client demand for the material. When selecting materials, media specialists must weigh the quality of materials for collection development with the demand of the user s of the library media program. Media specialists must commonly make selection decisions for new materials with no clear correct choice presented. Thus, it is very important that media specialists understand all aspects of their library media center collecti ons as best as possible to make informed selection decisions. Selection decisions that make up the lib rary media center collections are designed to support the school curriculum (AAS L/AECT 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz 1988, Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). It sh ould be a goal for every media specialist to provide teachers and students with quality resources and training with all equipment that assist in student learning and impr oving student achievement. The educational quality and number of materials in library me dia center collections effects the overall use of those materials and, consequently, student achievement on standa rdized tests (Lance, 2002). Krashen (2004) concludes that library media centers with materials of higher quality and quantity will be used more of ten by students, enhanc ing their reading and language education. Therefor e, the selection of materi als that support the school curriculum in library media programs is an inte gral part of successful student learning. Subscription Electronic Resources Media specialists play an important ro le in the integration of educational technology material into school curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1998, Prostano & Prostano,

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13 1999, Wright & Davie, 1999). As a result of high demand by the users of library media programs, media specialists have integrated electronic resource s into library media center collections. One such major electronic resour ce utilized in library media centers is the Internet. Internet sites are the most notab le and challenging el ectronic resources for media specialists to integrate. The Intern et provides users with access to extensive amounts of educational inform ation (Bitter & Pierson, 2002, Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002, MacDonald, 1997, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). However, due to a lack of regulation, many educat ional Internet sites are not appropriate for student use. Consequently, many Internet sites are unreliable and cont ain invalid content (Brooks, 2001, Heinich et al., 2002, Sweetland, 2000). Br ooks (2001) states that there is uncertainty surrounding the credibility of many free educational Internet sites and librarians face challenges in determining what electronic resource information should be integrated into their collec tions. Heinich, Molenda, Ru ssell, & Smaldino (2002) also have reservations about the authority of many Internet sites stating, “Anybody can post anything on the Web, including unsubstantiated, erroneous, or untruthful information” (p. 272). Moreover, Sweetland (2000) describes that users and developers of Internet sites can be unconcerned with reliability, validity and accuracy. He also claims that professional librarians, such as media special ists, are necessary for selecting and applying quality electronic resources information from Internet sites. Due to the difficulties associated with integrating quality electronic resource information from the Internet sites into th e school curriculum, media specialists have selected, acquired, and integrat ed subscription electronic re sources (SERs) as superior curricular materials (Brooks, 2001, Gregory, 2000). Subscripti on electronic resources are

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14 programs found on the Internet th at contain specialized educ ational information and are subscribed to for a contracted period of time and fee. In formation found within SERs is more accurate and valid than Internet s ites (Brooks, 2001, Gregory, 2000). This is because SERs provide users with high quality and access to detailed educational information that is supported and maintained by professional educat ors and technological support staff. Because of this, Gregory (2000) claims that SERs should be integrated into collection development policies in libraries. Subscription electronic resources “have become valid and necessary primary sources of information, they must be acquired in ways so as to fit into an overall collec tion plan” (Gregory, 2000, p. 94). Brooks (2001) adds that quality Internet-based information materials, such as SERs, should be selected for libraries because such materials would add mo re curricular value to existing libraries. Therefore, if it is feasible, SERs should be added into elementary library media center collections to enhance the curricular information available for teachers and students. Selecting SERs alters the curricular resources available in library media center collections. Consequently, media specialist s’ selection decisions are affected by the presence of SERs (Davis, 1997, Evans, 2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Subscription electronic res ources are expensive to add to library media center collections (Stewart, 2000, Weber, 2000). Stewart (2000) provides comprehensive criteria of selection decisions fo r SERs. In these criteria, the cost of the SERs is seen as a major selection challenge for librarians. Library media programs have increased demands upon materials and services offered in library media centers. Due to these increased demands and limited library media center budgets resources spent on library media programs must be allocated efficiently (Prostano & Prostano, 1999).

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15 Weber (2000) presents that it is important for selectors of SERs to determine and relate the relative advantage they provide over le ss expensive similar print material found in collections in order to jus tify acquisitions to the school community. Media specialists must therefore understand and communicate not only which SERs are desired to be added to library media collections, but also their specific curricul ar purposes. The acquisition of SERs may limit the budget accessible for purchasing other materi als, resources, and equipment. As a result, the presence of SE Rs may similarly aff ect media specialists’ selection decisions for other materials in elementary library media center collections. Effective Utilization of Subscri ption Electronic Resources Although subscription electronic resources ma y affect media speci alist’s selection decisions for other materials in a collection, th ey also must be uti lized efficiently and with purpose by teachers and students for enha nced student learning to occur (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). For th e effective utilization of subscription electronic resources to occur in elementary library media centers, three criteria must occur. First, subscriptio n electronic resources must support and follow the school curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1998, Evans, 2000, Pr ostano & Prostano, 1999). The second decisive criterion that needs to occur is that SERs have to be effectively used by teachers and students (Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, Trotter, 1998). Third, library media centers must provide adequa te technological support to effectively operate SERs (Lockard & Abrams, 2004, Picciano, 2006, Robl yer, 2003, Trotter, 1999). All three are necessary for enhanced student learning to occur from teachers and students utilizing subscription electronic resources.

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16 A major factor in enhancing student learni ng is for educational technology, such as SERs, to be successfully integrated into the school curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1998, Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Pros tano & Prostano (1999) explain that new forms of educational media that support the sc hool curriculum need to be made available to teachers and students in library media cente rs. New forms of educational media, such as SERs, are selected with the fundamental intention of supporting the school curriculum in elementary library media center collec tions. However, having SERs that support school curriculum available for users in library media centers is not necessarily enough to enhance student achievement (Dede, 2000, J onnasen, Peck, Wilson, 1999). Subscription electronic resources that support school curriculum must also be utilized effectively by teachers and students and possess adequate support technology to positively affect student learning. Another factor that determines if SERs are being effectively utilized by teachers and students is to assess whether or not us ers have meaningful and effective purpose when operating them. (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, Trotter, 1998). Subscription electronic resources found in lib rary media center coll ections vary greatly with the use they receive. Tr otter (1998) claims that the difficulty in determining the effectiveness of certain forms of educational technol ogy is that there is so little consensus about their purpose. Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson (1999) also maintain that when utilizing educational technology, there must be clear e ducational objectives to students about the purpose of their use. Furthermore, a technolog ically proficient medi a specialist should be available to assist teachers in shaping purposeful lessons founded on school curriculum.

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17 This collaboration will assist in providing us ers with a more effective use of educational technology by teachers and students. The overall goal of using educational t echnology effectively in schools is to enhance student learning. Media specialists select, acquire, and integrate educational technology into library media programs for th e purpose of enhancing student learning (AASL/AECT, 1998, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson (1999) believe that authentic student learning occu rs when educational te chnology is “used as engagers and facilitators of thinking and knowledge construction” (1999, p.13). Authentic student learning should be principa l in the design of integrating educational technology into school curriculum. Educational technology can be utilized in teaching strategies that promote the effective of su ch electronic resources. For example, Dede (2000) provides that educational technology can be used to develop research-based curriculum projects that can focus on probl em solving for students. Subscription electronic resources can be used by teachers and students in th e creation of such researchbased curriculum projects. The main idea behind developing these projects is for educators, such as media specialists, to provide learning opport unities for users to experience authentic learni ng that is purpose driven. Subscription electronic resources should therefore be integrated and utilized by media specialists and teachers into the school curriculum with the purpose of promoting authentic student learning. The last component that determines if SERs are being effectively utilized by teachers and students is for library media cen ters to possess adequate technology for their successful operation (Lockard & Abrams 2004, Picciano, 2006, Roblyer, 2003, Trotter, 1999). Library media centers need to ha ve sufficient computer hardware and

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18 technological support from skilled personnel in order to maintain the proper functioning of viable subscription electro nic resource services. Medi a specialists, and those who administer library media center budgets, must also be aware of all the financial costs associated with maintaining viable subscr iption electronic resour ce services. Roblyer (2003) consents “that the initia l cost of equipment is only a fraction of the funds required to keep it available and useful to te achers” (Roblyer, 2003, p.36). Maintenance requirements and security concerns for comput er hardware can greatly impact the ability for teachers and students to successfully util ize SERs. Subscription electronic resources therefore need to be administered by qua lified personnel to insure their continuous successful operation. Along with possessing adequate technology in library media centers, media specialists must have access to qualified personnel skilled in technological maintenance support for SERs. Locakard & Abrams (2004) be lieve that educators must have access to all necessary technological expertise to successfully operate schools’ educational technology. Such access is vital for the con tinued successful operation of subscription electronic resources. Picciano (2006) goes further in that educators need to have a sound understanding of the media resources available to them and to also successfully operate, maintain, and instruct others on their use. Trotter (1999) also agrees that media specialists should be responsible in facilitating al l technological aspects of integrating subscription electronic resources into library media center collections. However, many educators simply do not have the necessary sk ills necessary to tr oubleshoot technological problems that are associated with utilizing co mputer hardware and software. Therefore, media specialists must take the initiative in being their schools’ t echnological expert for

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19 operating all available computer equipmen t found in library media centers. In many instances, media specialists do act as the technology expert for their library media center or school, but in all cases, the library media center should have access to skilled personnel that can maintain computer application such as SERs. Summary In this chapter the role of library medi a centers, media specialists, selection and collection development, subscr iption electronic res ources, and the eff ective utilization of SERs were all examined to determine the exte nt to which the presence of SERs affects the selection of other library media center materials and to determine if SERs are being effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Library media centers are the locales in schools wher e all aspects of the library media program are carried out. They are designed to provi de accessible resources and services to the school community. Library media centers have recently provided electronic resources to teachers and students for the purpose of providi ng updated electronic resources that assist in student learning. Media specialists are licensed professi onals responsible fo r administering and promoting school library media programs. They create active partners hips with teachers to provide resources for curricular support. This includes media specialists selecting and integrating innovative educational technology, such as SERs, into the library media center collections. Additionally, media specia lists are responsible for making selection decisions that determine the collection developm ent of resources in library media centers. Media specialists have been se lecting and integrating SERs as opposed to potentially less valid Internet websites in library media cente r collections due to the superior educational information made available to teachers and st udents. As a result, the added expense of

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20 SERs may affect media specialists’ selecti on decisions for other resources in library media center collections. Subscription electronic resources must be utilized effectively for enhanced student learning to occur. For eff ective utilization to happen, SERs found in library media centers must fulfill three crit eria. Subscription electronic resources must first support school curriculum. They must also be used with purpose by teachers and students for the effective use of SERs to positively impact student learning. Finally, library media centers must possess adequate technology in terms of both equipment and technological support for the successful operation and maintenance of SERs.

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21 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The purpose of this chapter is to describe the methodol ogy used to investigate the extent to which the presence of subscription databases used in elem entary library media centers affects the selecti on of materials to be incl uded in those collections. Population and Sample Elementary media specialists in the State of Florida were the focus of this study. A Florida Department of Education directory was used to identify the sampling field of all elementary media specialists (FLDOE). A random sampling of kindergarten through 5th grade and pre-kind ergarten through 5th grade elementary school s throughout the State of Florida was taken; the elementary medi a specialists’ schools were numbered and 700 random samples were chosen (Table 3-1) A total of 700 surveys were mailed representing 46% of the targeted pop ulation of 1,521 kinde rgarten through 5th grade (K-5) and pre-kindergarten through 5th grade (pre K-5) elementary schools in the State of Florida (Table 3-2). Although the Florida De partment of Educati on stated 1839 K-5 and pre-K-5 elementary schools exists, only 1,521 we re available for data analysis by the Alachua County School District. These data proved to be robust as responses across varying school district sizes were similar (T able A-1). The targeted sample of 700 was chosen to ensure a satisfactory response rate and to insure the validity of the study. The researcher desired a percenta ge response of at least 25% for the 700 targeted sample respondents. A total of 3 02 surveys were returned by respondent K-5 and pre-K-5 elementary Florida media specialists repr esenting a 43.1% sample response rate.

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22 Table 3-1 Descriptions of the number and pe rcentages of sizes of school districts. Size of school district determined by number of K-12 students 5 Very large† >100,000 4 Large 40,000 to 100,000 3 Medium 20,000 to 40,000 2 Medium /small 7,000 to 20,000 1 Small <7,000 Number of K-5 and pre K-5 elementary schools in Florida (n=1839) N=970 N=336 N=333 N=115 N=85 Number of media specialist participants (n=299)* 128 85 39 32 15 Percentages of K-5 and Pre K-5 elementary schools in Florida 52.7% 24.3% 12.0% 6.3% 4.6% Percentages of size of school district from respondents (n=299) 42.8% 28.4% 13.0% 10.7% 5.0% † Information on school district scale and elementary school percentages obtained from the Florida Department of Education website 3 unidentified participants Instrumentation The data collection instrument (Appendix B) was a two-page survey designed and created by the researcher. This was done to identify respons es regarding media specialists’ responses on SERs effecting selection decisi ons for other materials in elementary library media center collections and how effectively the SERs are being utilized by teachers and student s. The survey questions were described to specifically answer the research questions as to ensure the validity and reliability of the study. Preliminary Trial A preliminary test to improve the re porting instrument was conducted among two selected elementary library media specialis ts who would not be receiving the final survey. The researcher and dissertation committee members evaluated feedback and

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23 suggestions from these two media specialists of the test group to revise and clarify survey questions. Changes were made to make the survey easier to comprehend for elementary media specialists. The alterations made to the survey by experienced media specialists enhanced the quality and effectiveness of the data collection instrument. This in turn enhanced the measure which predicts a vali d sample exhibiting characteristics of the population. Table 3-2 Descriptions of th e school districts, size code s, and number of respondents from the sample School district Size code Number of media specialists School district Size code Number of media specialists Alachua 3 8 Leon 3 10 Brevard 4 2 Levy 1 2 Broward 5 1 Madison 1 1 Charlotte 2 2 Manatee 4 13 Citrus 2 3 Marion 3 8 Collier 4 5 Martin 2 5 Columbia 2 4 Monroe 2 2 Dade 5 20 Nassau 2 7 Duval 5 13 Okaloosa 4 9 Escambia 4 1 Okeechobee 1 3 Flagler 2 1 Orange 5 10 Gadsden 1 1 Osceola 4 1 Gilchrist 1 2 Palm Beach 5 22 Gulf 1 1 Pasco 4 3 Hernando 3 4 Pinellas 5 21 Hillsborough 5 42 Polk 4 15 Holmes 1 1 Putnam 2 4 Indian River 2 2 Santa Rosa 3 1 Jackson 2 4 Seminole 4 12 Jefferson 1 1 St. Lucie 3 2 Lake 3 6 Volusia 4 13 Lee 4 10 Walton 1 1 † Sample size n=299 with 3 unidentified responses Data Collection A simple random sampling was conducted to provide fairness and inference to the population (Agresti & Finlay, 1999). The su rvey was mailed August 23rd, 2006 to 700

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24 Florida elementary media specialists at th eir respective library media centers. All elementary schools that were se nt a survey were either cla ssified by the State of Florida as K-5 or pre K-5. Each survey was printed on colored paper in an attempt to improve the survey return rate by gaining the atte ntion of the recipien t (Borg & Gall, 1983). Elementary media specialists were sent survey s printed on light colors of paper for ease of identification. A cover le tter (Appendix C) accompanied the survey to explain the reason for the survey and to guarantee confid entially. A self-addressed stamped envelop was included to increase the percentage of re turned surveys by part icipants (Aday, 1996). The surveys were coded to enable efficient reco rding of the school dist rict of origin from each of the returns. The code on the surv eys did not reveal any names or personal information of any media specialists. Statistical Analysis The investigator used a quantitative methods descriptive study to analyze participants’ responses in the experiment. A researcher-designed survey was used to collect data (Appendix B). St atistical analysis methods used frequency data (PROC FREQ) and Spearman’s rank correlation coe fficients (PROC CORR) (SAS, 2006). These statistical analyses were used to answer th e two research questions posed in chapter one (Aday, 1996, Peck, Olsen, & Devore, 2001). Freque ncies were chosen by the researcher to describe percent distribution of respondent s’ data in both research questions. The Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient was chosen because it does not assume normal distribution and data can be used for variables measured at the ordinal level. The Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient data was not shown due to a lack of any significant correlations between variables (A ppendix A). Frequency data were then aggregated for descript ive statistics analysis.

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25 Ethical Assurance The researcher received informed consen t forms from the participants when conducting the experiment. Informed consen t forms were approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Flor ida (UF IRB Protocol #2006-U-633). The UF IRB form describes the nature and purpose of this study, the procedures to be followed, the confidentiality of research data and the voluntary participation as advised. The form additionally indicates that vol untary participations would not affect the participants’ academic consequences in any way. Part icipants were provided with personal information of the investigator, supervis or’s names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers for participants’ questions a nd concerns about the experiment.

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26 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to examine the two research questions stated in Chapter 1. The first research question explor es the extent to which the presence of subscription electronic resources (SERs) aff ects the selection of other library media center materials. The second research questi on explores the extent to which SERs are being effectively utilized by teachers and stude nts in elementary library media centers. Frequency data and Spearman’s rank correlati on coefficients were used to analyze the quantitative data. Research Question 1 To what extent does the presence of SE Rs in elementary library media center collections effect media specialists’ selection decisions? Subscription Electronic Resources Found in Elementary School Of the K-5 and pre K-5 elementary medi a specialists in Florida, 88.4% possess SERs in their library medi a center collections (Table 4-1). Only 11.6% of the Table 4-1 Subscription electronic re sources found in elementary school Survey question 4: Subscription electronic resources found in elementary school (n=302) Percentage of respondents Yes 88.4 (n=267) No 11.6 (n=35) respondents claimed that they did not posse ss any SERs in their library media center collections. Therefore, 11.6% of the respondents either continue to use Internet websites that do not necessarily possess va lid or reliable content for ed ucational purposes or do not

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27 use any online educational information in library media centers (Brooks, 2001, Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002, Sweetland, 2000). Funding Sources Used to Purchase Subscri ption Electronic Resources in Media Centers Virtually all elementary media specialis ts (98.9%) receive funding for SERs in their library media center collect ions from their respective sc hool districts (Table 4-2). Although some SERs are financed through me dia center budgets (9.1%), and outside donations or other school funds (6.8%), many of these respondents also received funding through their school district. It is important to note that in Table 4-2 the respondents were able to answer one, two, or all thr ee answers revealing what sources SERs are funded in library media center collections. The 267 media specialis ts in the study that have SERs in their collections made a tota l of 303 responses. The data suggests that media specialists perceive that selection decisions made for SERs in elementary library media center collections is primarily done at the school district le vel and not through the selection decisions of indi vidual media specialists. Table 4-2 Funding sources used to purchase subscription electronic resources in media centers Survey question 5: Funding sources used to purchase subscription electronic resources in media centers (n=267)* Percentage of respondents Media center budget 9.1 (n=24) School district 98.9 (n=261) Outside donations or other school funds 6.8 (n=18) *Respondents may answer more than one response 303 responses Subscription Electronic Resources Affecting Available Money for Other Materials Of the respondents, 44.8% of respondents believe that SERs found in media center collections do not affect money being avai lable for other materials (Table 4-3). However, 41.6% of elementary media specialist s feel that SERs do have a “somewhat” to

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28 “very much so” impact on the purchases made for other materials in library media center collections. This information reveals that there is little cons ensus among elementary media specialists as to the impact of SERs on purchasing power for other materials in library media center collections. Table 4-3 Subscription electroni c resources affecting available money for other materials Survey question 6: Subscription electronic resources affecting available money for other materials (n=257) (10 non respondents) Percentage of respondents (1) Not at all 44.8 (n=115) (2) 13.6 (n=35) (3) Somewhat 17.1 (n=44) (4) 6.2 (n=16) (5) Very much so 18.3 (n=47) Media Specialists Perceived Adequate Funding for Subscription Electronic Resources Only 20.3% of elementary media specia lists believe that not enough money is being spent on SERs in their library media cen ter collections (Table 4-4). The majority of elementary media specialist s (71.4%) feel that there is an adequate amount of funding attributed to acquiring SERs to library me dia center collections. However, very few media specialists (8.4%) believe that too much money is being spent on SERs. Most elementary media specialists feel that there ar e adequate resources at tributed to SERs, but there exists a sizable minority that do not feel enough money is being spent on SERs. How Purchases for Other Materials Have Changed as a Result of Information Found on Subscription El ectronic Resources In survey question 8 elementary media sp ecialist respondents could answer more than one response due to the different area s of information obtained in the question (Table 4-5). Respondents have shown that 29.2% of elementary media specialists feel that they have spent less on print materials as a result of the information found on SERs.

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29 Table 4-4 Media specialists perceived ad equate funding for subscription electronic resources Survey question 7: Media specialists perceived ade quate funding for subscription electronic resources (n= 262) (5 non respondents) Percentage of respondents (1) Not enough money spent 9.2 (n=24) (2) Less money than should be 11.1 (n=29) (3) Appropriate amount of money 71.4 (n=187) (4) A little bit more money 6.9 (n=18) (5) Too much money being spent 1.5 (n=4) This response could be a result of certain forms of print reference materials being replaced by SERs that are on line reference materials. El ementary media specialists believe that other non-subscr iption electronic resources (non SERs) are the largest category not purchased (44.6%) due to the pres ence of SERs in elementary library media center collections. This sugge sts that the selection of SE Rs have taken the place and function of non SERs found in elementary lib rary media center collections. A small percentage (6.4%) of respondent s has spent less on equipment as a result of information found on SERs. This indicates that equipment purchases are only slig htly affected by the information found on SERs. Only 4.1% of resp ondents have selected and acquired more SERs to library media center collections. This suggests that the SERs present in library media center collections are either sufficient in library media programs, or there is little priority in complementing existing SERs with newer SERs. A major discovery of information retrieved in survey question 8 is that 29.2% of res pondents either did not answer survey question 8 or made comments to the side of the question on the survey that stated that there was no change in purchases for other materials as a result of information found on SERs. The last category for “no cha nge in purchases for other materials” was created after all responses had been collect ed and was necessary to describe valid information from the surveys (Table 4-5). Th e researcher considered that not initially

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30 including “no change in purchases for othe r materials” in survey question 8 before sending the surveys to the samp le to be an instrumentation design error (Appendix B). Table 4-5 How purchases for other materials have changed as a result of information found on subscription electronic resources Survey question 8: How purchases for other materials have changed as a result of information found on subscription electronic resources (n=267)* Percentage of respondents Have spent less on print materials 29.2 (n=78) Have spent less on other non-subscripti on electronic resources 44.6 (n=119) Have spent less on equipment 6.4 (n=17) Have spent more on other subscripti on electronic resources 4.1 (n=11) No change in purchases for other materials 29.2 (n=78) *Respondents can answer more than one response 303 responses How Media Specialists Would Spend Extra Money in Budget Only 7.1% of elementary media specialists prefer additional SERs if they possessed extra money in their library media center budgets (Table 4-6). This low percentage Table 4-6 How media specialists would spend extra money in budget Table 4-6 How media specialists would spend extra money in budget Survey question 9: How media specialists would spe nd extra money in budget (n=267) (12 non responses) Percentage of respondents Spend more on more or better subscrip tion electronic resources 7.1 (n=19) Spend more on print materials 62.9 (n=168) Spend more on other non-subscription electronic resources 10.5 (n=28) Spend more on media center equipment 22.5 (n=60) implies that selecting additional SERs is not a priority for most elementary media specialists. Either SERs are sufficient in li brary media center collections, or the SERs are not being utilized effectivel y therefore limiting their use and need. Print materials (62.9%) are the preferred response from media specialists for additi onal materials to be selected and acquired into library media cen ter collections. Elementary library media center collections still prioriti ze the selection of pr int materials above all other options. Additionally, 10.5% of the res pondents would select and acq uire other non-SERs and

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31 22.5% of elementary media specialists would se lect and acquire more equipment if they had extra money allocated in thei r library media center budgets. Materials Bought or Planned to Buy th at Specifically Supplement Subscription Electronic Resources A strong majority (82.8%) of elementary media specialists do not possess and will not select materials that speci fically supplement the use of SERs in their library media center collections (Table 4-7). The data rev eals that the majority of elementary media specialists do not select print materials that specifically supplement SERs. This also suggests that the educational use of SERs by teachers and students does not necessarily coincide with the educational use of print ma terials in elementary library media centers. Table 4-7 Materials bought or planned to buy that specifically supplement subscription electronic resources Survey question 10: Materials bought or planned to buy that specifically supplement subscription electronic resources (n=267) Percentage of respondents Yes 17.2 (n=46) No 82.8 (n=221) Amount of Materials that Have Been Superseded by Superior Information Found in Subscription Electronic Resources Only 11.9% of elementary media specialist s believed that the presence of SERs, that contain more valid and reliable in formation, affected removing “many” other materials in their library media center co llections (Brooks, 2001, Heinich et al., 2002, Sweetland, 2000) (Table 4-8). Elementary me dia specialists genera lly do not have to change many selection practices for other ma terials based on the pr esence of SERs found in library media center collec tions. A majority of 70.0% of respondents report that “a few” materials have been superseded by s uperior information found in SERs. Only 18.1% feel that no materials have been s uperseded by superior information found in SERs. Consequently, a larger majority of 88.1% including “none” and “a few” materials

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32 have been superseded by information f ound on SERs and would not a have a major impact on overall selection practices fo r other materials in the collection. Table 4-8 Amount of materials that have b een superseded by superior information found in subscription electronic resources Survey question 11: Amount of materials that have been superseded by superior information found in subscrip tion electronic resources (n=243) (24 non responses) Percentage of respondents None 18.1 (n=44) A few materials 70.0 (n=170) Many materials 11.9 (n=29) Research Question 2 To what extent are subscription electroni c resources in elementary library media centers being effectively util ized by teachers and students? Subscription Electronic Resources Accu rately Support School Curriculum Elementary media specialists believe str ongly that SERs accur ately support school curriculum (Table 4-9). A very high per centage (93.9%) of res pondents agreed that SERs accurately support school curriculum and 60.3% believe that SERs do a better than average job of supporting the sc hool curriculum. Only 6.1% of those surveyed felt that SERs do not support school curriculum (Table 4-9). However, in 98.9% of responses, the Table 4-9 Subscription electr onic resources accurately support school curriculum Survey question 12: Subscription electronic resour ces accurately support school curriculum (n=244) (23 non respondents) Percentage of responses (1) Not at all 0.8% (n=2) (2) 5.3% (n=13) (3) Somewhat 33.6% (n=82) (4) 41.0% (n=100) (5) Very much so 19.3% (n=47) data indicates that school districts and not i ndividual media specialists are responsible for making selection decisions for SERs (Table 4-1). Although media specialists are not

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33 active in selecting SERs for th eir collections, they feel that the SERs accurately support school curriculum (AASL/AECT 19 88, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Teachers Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic Resources Of media specialists surveyed, 56.6% beli eve that teachers e ffectively understand and use SERs (Table 4-10). However, media specialists do not feel that teachers are doing a superior job in effectively understa nding and using SERs. Only 9.8% believe that teachers are doing a “better than some what” job of understanding and using SERs. Media specialists do not have an overwhelmi ng belief that teachers understand and utilize SERs very effectively in library media cente rs as exhibited in the overwhelmingly low response of 0.4% for the “very much so” category. Table 4-10 Teachers effectively understan ding and using subscription electronic resources Survey question 13: Teachers effectively understanding and using subscription electronic resources (n=246) (21 non respondents) Percentage of responses (1) Not at all 12.6% (n=31) (2) 30.9% (n=76) (3) Somewhat 46.8% (n=115) (4) 9.4% (n=23) (5) Very much so 0.4% (n=1) Students Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic Resources Of the surveyed media specialists 66 .7% believe that students effectively understand and use SERs (Table 4-11). However, 33.3% of respondents feel that students did not effectively unders tand and use SERs found in library media centers. It is an interesting phenomenon that when compari ng average percentages; elementary media specialists feel that students understand and use SERs s lightly better than teachers do (Table 4-10). These data suggest that there is much room for improvement for educators

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34 to instruct students on the effective use of e ducational technology such as SERs in library media centers. Table 4-11 Students effectively understanding and using subscr iption electronic resources Survey question 14: Students effectively understan ding and using subscription electronic resources (n=246) (21 non respondents) Percentage of responses (1) Not at all 7.7% (n=19) (2) 25.6% (n=63) (3) Somewhat 48.0% (n=118) (4) 16.3% (n=40) (5) Very much so 2.4% (n=6) Media Center Having Computer Techno logy That Can Access Subscription Electronic Resources Effectively Elementary media specialists surveyed reve aled that 91.9% of library media centers possess “somewhat” to “very much so” eff ective computer technology that can access subscription electronic resources. Only, 8.1% of those surveyed that possess SERs in their collections believed that their library media centers do not have adequate computer technology to access SERs. Therefore, the da ta suggests that most elementary media specialists feel their library media centers possess adequate to superior hardware technology in order to operate SERs. This da ta implies that comput er hardware does not significantly impede media specia lists’ selection decisions to add SERs to collections. Table 4-12 Media center having computer technology that can access subscription electronic resources effectively Survey question 15: Media center having comput er technology that can access subscription electronic resources effectively (n=247) (20 non respondents) Percentage of responses (1) Not at all 1.6% (n=4) (2) 6.5% (n=16) (3) Somewhat 19.8% (n=49) (4) 30.0% (n=74) (5) Very much so 42.1% (n=104)

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35 Media Center Having the Technology Support for Hardware (Computers) and Software to Access Subscription Electronic Resources Of the surveyed media specialists, 87.5% believe that their library media centers possess the technology support personnel that “som ewhat” to “very much so” services the computers that operate SERs (Table 4-13). Only 12.5% of the respondents feel that they have inadequate technological support. This data implie s that the technical support personnel in library media centers generally are not a decisive factor in media specialists’ selecting and acquiring SERs to lib rary media center collections. Table 4-13 Media center ha ving the technology support for hardware (computers) and software to access subscription electronic resources Survey question 16: Media center having the t echnology support for hardware (computers) and software to access subscription electronic resources (n=247) (20 non respondents) Percentage of responses (1) Not at all 1.6% (n=4) (2) 10.9% (n=27) (3) Somewhat 22.3% (n=55) (4) 35.2% (n=87) (5) Very much so 30.0% (n=74) Summary Research Question 1 To what extent does the presence of SE Rs in elementary library media center collections effect media specialists’ selection decisions? The data revealed that 88.4% of elementa ry library media center collections possess SERs. Of the library media centers that have SERs, 98.9% were selected by school districts and not indivi dual media specialists. This data indicated that there is little consensus about whether media specialists beli eved that SERs were effecting available money for other materials. The results gene rally indicated that mo st media specialists (71.4%) believe that there is adequate spendi ng on SERs, and 8.4% believed that there is

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36 “better than average” money being spent on SERs in library media center collections. However, 20.3% felt that there was not sufficient spending for SERs. With the additional presence of SERs in elementary library media centers, media specialists have altered the pur chases of other materials in collections. The largest group of respondents (44.6%) has spent less on non SE Rs in their collections. Another group (29.2%) of respondents has spent less on pr int materials, A third group of (29.2%) believed that SERs had no effect and indicate d that there were no changes in material purchases. A small percentage of respondent s (6.4%) believed that media specialists have spent less on equipment. Only 4.1% of elementary media specialists’ survey felt that they have spent more on newer SERs due to the information found on previous SERs. Although the presence of SERs in elementa ry media centers has impacted other materials in collections, significant data was revealed in how elementary media specialists would spend additional money if provided. The largest percentage (62.9%) of media specialists believed that they would sele ct and purchase more print materials. The second largest percentage (22.5%) of medi a specialists desire d to purchase extra equipment if the resources were available. A smaller percentage (10.5%) of respondents would like to select and add non-SERs to their collections. However, only 7.1% of respondents would use extra money selecti ng and acquiring more or better SERs to elementary library media center collections. The data has shown that 82.8% of medi a specialists do not possess and will not select and acquire print materials that specifically supplement SERs. Of those respondents that answered to the amount of materials that have been superseded by

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37 superior information found in SERs 18.1% answ ered “none”. The majority response of 70.0% of elementary media specialists answer ed that “a few materials” have been superseded by superior information f ound on SERs. Only 11.9% of the respondents answered that “many” have been supersed ed by superior information found on SERs. Research Question 2 To what extent are subscription electroni c resources in elementary library media centers being effectively util ized by teachers and students? In elementary schools, media specialists generally believe that SERs accurately support school curriculum (Table 4-9). Howeve r, elementary media specialists feel that teachers only somewhat effectively understand and use SERs, and there exists considerable room for improvement (Table 410). Respondents had similar feelings for students understanding and using SERs, but students have show n slightly higher percentages than teachers in understanding and utilizing SERs in library media centers (Table 4-11). Elementary media specialists also believe that there is a high level of sufficient computer technology hard ware to operate SERs (Table 4-12). They also feel that there is ample technologica l support available in library media centers to successfully insure the successful operation of SERs (Table 4-13).

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38 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS This study was designed to determine th e extent of which the presence of subscription electronic resources (SERs) aff ects the selection of other library media center materials and to determine if s ubscription electronic resources are being effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary lib rary media centers. This chapter presents important conclusions a nd recommendations for future studies drawn from the data presented in Chapter 4 and a section for other recommendations for further studies. The conclusions and recommendations for future studies provide summaries for the two research questions posed in Chapter 1. Research Question 1 To what extent does the presence of subs cription electronic resources in elementary library media center collections effect media specialists’ selection decisions? In Research Question 1, media specialis ts’ selection decisi ons for collection development determine the materials found in elementary library media centers and schools. As a result, selection decisions made by media specialists can have an impact on student learning (Krashen, 2004, Lance 2002). The presence of SERs in library media center collections creates the potential for si gnificant changes to occur in selection decisions (Davis, 1997, Evans, 2000, Gregor y, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Due to limited library media program budgets, media specialists’ selection decisions for SERs may affect selection decisions for other ma terials in elementary media center collections.

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39 Findings for Research Question 1 The presence of SERs in elementary libra ry media center collections does not have considerable effects on media specialists’ sele ction decisions in elementary library media centers. Subscription electronic resources are se lected at the school di strict level and not by individual media specialists. It is not a priority for medi a specialists to add additional SERs with existing SERs in library media center collections. S ubscription electronic resources generally do not have a noteworthy influence on the addition of many materials specifically designed to supplement the use of SERs in elementary library media centers. Also, information found in SERs is not cons iderable enough to supersede many materials found in elementary library media centers collections. Research Question 2 To what extent are subscription electroni c resources in elementary library media centers being effectively util ized by teachers and students? In the second research question SERs need to follow three criteria posed in chapter one in order to successfully be utilized by teacher and students in elementary library media centers. The first criterion is that SERs need to support the school curriculum (AASL/AECT 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz 1988, Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). The second criterion is that there must be meaningful and effective use of SERs by teachers and students in library media centers (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, Roblyer, 2003, Trotter, 1998). The third criterion is that SERs must possess adequate technology in terms of both com puter hardware and technological support (Lockard & Abrams, 2004, Picciano, 2006, Trotter, 1999, US Congress, 1995).

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40 Findings for Research Question 2 Subscription electronic resources are eff ectively utilized by teacher and students, but not to a great exte nt. The SERs that are selected at the school district level support school curriculum very effectively. Howe ver, SERs are only marginally used and understood by teachers and students in elementa ry library media centers. Elementary library media centers adequately posse ss the technological ha rdware and support personnel to successfully operate SERs. Therefor e, the effective use of SERs is sufficient for educational operation, but significant opportunity for effective use improvement exists for teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Conclusions and Recommendations for Future Studies In elementary library media centers that possessed SERs, media specialists did not select SERs to add to collections. Select ion decisions for SERs were overwhelmingly performed at the school distri ct level. This method of selection practice by school districts over individual media specialists should be examined in order to help determine if school district selection po licies have an impact upon the ov erall effective utilization of SERs in elementary library media centers. Although some of the surveyed elementary media specialists do not feel that enough money is being spent on SERs, very few of them have spent resources to acquire more or better SERs. Furthermore, very fe w elementary media specialists would spend more on SERs if extra resources were provided. This data indicates th at the selection of SERs is not a selection priority for media sp ecialists in library media center collections. Elementary media specialists chose the option of more or better SERs last after print materials, equipment, and other non-subscr iption electronic resources (non-SERs). Overall utilization of SERs by teachers and st udents was adequate, but considerable room

PAGE 50

41 for improvement exists. Therefore, one impli cation made from the data is that teacher training programs need to include technology in tegration of material s such as SERs in library media centers. Although teachers and students are using SERs in library media centers, training should be emphasized to improve and focus teaching and learning strategies that will enhance th e effective utilization of SERs. The extent of SERs having an impact on the selection of other materials in elementary library media centers was not c onsiderable. Media specialists do not possess or will not possess materials that specifically supplement SERs. The presence of SERs in library media center collections does not have a substantial influen ce on the selection and acquisition of other materials found in those collections. The information found in SERs has only a marginal impact upon superseding other materials found in elementary library media center collections. These implications, coupled with media specialists not actively selecting SERs, support the notion that SERs are not priority materials that are utilized in elementary library media centers. It would be advantageous to determine the qualitative extent of educational value that elementary media specialists pla ce on utilizing SERs. Although selection decisions for SERs ar e not made by individual elementary media specialists, media specialists believe that SERs significantly follow school curriculum. School districts have succeeded in providing SERs to elementary schools and that follow the design of school curriculum. However, these SERs may not be specifically the curricular materials desire d by many teachers and this may contribute to the average understanding and use of SERs by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Studies should be conducted that reveal to what extent teachers desire the SERs found in elementary library media centers.

PAGE 51

42 Media specialists feel th at teachers and students onl y marginally understand and use SERs in elementary library media centers. They feel that there exists significant room for teachers and students to improve effective utilizatio n of SERs. Media specialists perceive students actually as be ing slightly more adept at understanding and using SERs in elementary library media cen ters. A possible reason for these moderate conclusions of integrating educational technology shoul d be studied through an explanation and analysis of Rodgers’ Diffusion Theory (Rodgers, 1995). Elementary media specialists consider elementary library media centers to possess adequate or better computer hardware. Th ey also believe elementary library media centers have adequate or be tter access to technol ogy support personnel. However, some media specialists may see these technological factors as change barriers to effective utilization of SERs (Ely, 1990). Future studie s should be performed to determine to what extent technological barrier s versus other change barri ers pose to the successful technological implementation of SERs in elementary library media centers. Other Recommendations for Future Studies This study produced several statements that may be of interest to future researchers, and the statements are presented below as other recommendations for future studies. First, results are limited to what extent does the presence of subscription electronic resources have on media specia lists’ selection decisions in elementary library media center collections and to determine to what extent subscription electronic resources are being effectively utilized by teachers and stude nts in elementary library media centers. Therefore, results are limited to the K-5 a nd pre-K-5 elementary school level. Future research should be conducted to determine se lection decision and effe ctive use results at the middle and high school levels.

PAGE 52

43 Second, selection and utilization of res earch done in elementary library media centers should be conducted and correlated with data on the media specialis ts themselves. Studies done would be beneficial to determine to what extent the education level or years of experience of individual media special ists has on the utilizing of educational technology in library media centers. Res earch done that focuses on technology integration in library media program is lacking from the educational field. Third, it would be beneficial for studies to include successful integration of library media program educational technology, su ch as SERs, into elementary school curriculum. Although much research has b een done examining the integration of educational technology into teac hing and learning strategies studies should be conducted that reveal media specialists’ and teachers’ preferences of utilizing various SERs. Last, it could be beneficial to understa nd the impact SERs have on specific school districts’ library media cent er collections. Differences in the location of individual school districts and resources allocated to thos e school districts could reveal results that reveal information on to what extent SERs affect media specialists ’ selection decisions and how SERs are utilized by teachers and students. Research done on the variations between school district criter ia and their resources could also expose discrepancies and inequities of implementing innovative educational technology in library media programs.

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44 APPENDIX A SPEARMAN’S RANK CORRELA TION COEFFICIENTS Table A-1. Spearman’s rank correlation coeffi cients of interest comparing survey questions 6, 7, 8, and 9. Q8A Q8D Q9A Q9B Q9C Q9D Correlation Q6 0.15761 0.13136 -0.18183 P-Value 0.0114 0.0353 0.0034 N 257 257 257 Correlation Q7 0.01975 0.02031 P-Value 0.7503 0.7435 N 262 262 Correlation Q8B 0.01559 P-Value 0.7999 N 267 Correlation Q8C 0.00661 P-Value 0.9144 N 267

PAGE 54

APPENDIX B SURVEY

PAGE 55

47 This survey is important because it is designed to determine how subscription electronic resources in elementary media centers affect media specialists’ selection decisions and their effective usage by teachers and students. Thank you fo r your help with this dissertation. 1 How many years have you wo rked as a media specialist? ________ 2 Are you a certified media specialist in the Stat e of Florida? ( ) Yes ( ) No 3 What is your highest educational degree? ( ) High School ( ) Bachelors ( ) Masters ( ) Doctorate Subscription electronic resources ar e programs found on the Internet that contain specialized educational information and are subscribed to for a contracted time. Examples of subscription electronic resources include Grolier Online, Tumblebook s, Net Trekker, and Brain Pop. 4 Do you have subscription electroni c resources in your elementary school? ( )Yes ( ) No If you answered no you do not need to answer any more questions Please follow directions on the bottom of the next page of this survey to mail back the survey. 5 What funding sources are used to purch ase subscription electroni c resources in your media center? Check all that apply. ( ) Media center budget ( ) School district ( ) Outside donati ons or other school funds not from media center 6 To what degree does paying for subs cription electronic res ources affect having money available to purchase mate rials in your media center? Not at all Somewhat Very much so ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 7 Based on your opinion, how adequate is the funding for subscription electronic resources in your media center? Check the one that best applies. ( ) 1 Not enough spent on subscription elec tronic resources ( ) 2 Less spent on subscription electronic resources than should be ( ) 3 Appropriate amount being spent on s ubscription electronic resources ( ) 4 A little bit more than shoul d be spent on subscription electronic resources ( ) 5 Too much is being sp ent on subscription electronic resources 8 How has the purchase of other materials in your media center ch anged as a result of the information found in your subscription electronic resources? Check all that apply. ( ) have spent less on print materials (books, periodicals, etc.) ( ) have spent less on other non-subscription el ectronic resources (software, DVD’s, etc.) ( ) have spent less on equipment (overheads, computers, etc.) ( ) have spent more on other subscription el ectronic resources (to complement the use)

PAGE 56

47 9 Based on your opinion, if you had enough extra money in your media center budget how would you best like to spend it? Check the one that best applies. ( ) Spend more on more or bette r subscription elec tronic resources ( ) Spend more on print materi als (books, periodicals, etc.) ( ) Spend more on other non-subscription elect ronic resources (software, DVD’s, etc.) ( ) Spend more on media center equipm ent (overheads, computers, etc.) 10 Have you or do you plan to buy any ma terials that specifically supplement your subscription electronic resources? ( ) Yes ( ) No 11 How many materials (print and electronic) in your collection have been superseded by superior information found in your subs cription electr onic resources making those titles irrelevant? ( ) None ( ) A few materials ( ) Many materials 12 To what degree do you feel that your subscription electroni c resources accurately support the curriculum of your school? Not at all Somewhat Very much so ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 13 To what degree do you feel that teachers effectively understand and use the subscription electronic resources in your media center? Not at all Somewhat Very much so ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 14 To what degree do you feel that students effectively und erstand and use the subscription electronic resour ces in your media center? Not at all Somewhat Very much so ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 15 To what degree does your media cente r have computer technology that can access subscription electronic resources effectively? Not at all Somewhat Very much so ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 16 To what degree does your media center have the technology support for the hardware (computers) and software used to access subscription el ectronic resources? Not at all Somewhat Very much so ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 Thank you very much for completi ng this survey! I hope this information can assist in unders tanding subscription electronic resources.

PAGE 57

APPENDIX C COVER LETTER

PAGE 58

50 Seamus Eddy School of Teaching and Learning University of Florida seamuseddy@hotmail.com 352-275-7786 Dear Prospective Participant, My name is Seamus Eddy and I am a doctoral candidate at the Univer sity of Florida in the School of Teaching and Learning. I am c onducting a research project to examine how the presence of subscription electronic re sources affects media specialists’ selection decisions and how subscription electronic resources are being used by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Please take a few minutes to complete the in cluded survey. Please do not put your name or any identifying informati on on the survey and return it by mail with the envelope provided. All surveys are completely confid ential. There is no risk or compensation involved in this research project. Your participation will cont ribute to a body of knowledge that will help me dia specialists bette r understand educational technology such as subscription electronic resources in library media centers. I appreciate your participation. If you would like more info rmation about this project, please do not hesitate to contact me. For questions about your rights as a research pa rticipant contact the University of Florida IRB office at (352) 392-0433. Supervisor information: Dr. Jeff Hurt Ph.D. College of Education University of Florida (352) 392-9191, ext.258 jhurt@coe.ufl.edu Sincerely, Seamus Eddy

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51 LIST OF REFERENCES Aday, L. A. (1996). Designing and Conducting Health Surveys (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Agresti, A., & Finlay, B. (1999). Statistical methods for the social sciences (3rd.ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. American Association of School Librar ians and Associati on for Educational Communications and Technology. (1988). Information Power: Guidelines for school library media programs. Chicago, IL: Author. American Association of School Librar ians and Associati on for Educational Communications and Technology. (1998). Information Power: Building partnerships for learning. Chicago, IL: Author. Bitter, G., & Pierson, M. (2002). Using Technology in the Classroom (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Borg, W. R. (1981). Applying Educational Research: A Practical Guide to Teachers New York: Longman. Borg, W. R., & Gall, M. D. (1989). Education research: An introduction (5th ed.). New York: Longman. Brooks, S. (2001, July). Integration of inform ation resources and collection development strategy. The Journal of Academi c Librarianship, 27 (4), 316-319. Cates, W. M. (1985). A Practical Guide to Educational Research Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Cleaver, B. P., & Tayl or, W. D. (1989). The Instructional Consultant Role of the School Library Media Specialist (Vol. 9). Chicago: Ameri can Library Association. Cohen, L., & Manion, L. (1994). Research Methods in Education New York: Routledge. Davis, T. L. (1997, Winter). The evolution of selection activities for electronic resources. Library Trends, 45 (3), 391-403. Dede, C. (2000). Emerging influences of information technology on school curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32 (2), 281-303.

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52 Doll, C. A. (2005). Collaboration and the School Library Media Specialist Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press. Eisenberg, M. B., & Be rkowitz, R. E. (1988). Curriculum Initiative: An Agenda and Strategy for Library Media Programs Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing. Ely, D. (1990). Conditions that facilitate th e implementation of educational technology innovations. Journal of Research on Computing in Education 23(2), 298-305. Evans, G. E. (2000). Developing Library and Inform ation Center Collections (4th ed.). Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Farmer, L. S. J. (2003). Student Success and Library Media Programs Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Florida Department of Education. (2006). Florida Schools Indicator Report Tallahassee: Author. Retrieved October 28, 2006 from http://www.firn.doe.edu Gardner, R. K. (1981). Library Collections: Their Orig in, Selection, and Development New York: McGraw-Hill. Gregory, V. L. (2000). Selecting and Managing Electroni c Resources: A How-To-Do-It Manual New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J. D., & Smaldino, S. E. (2002). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning (7th ed.). Upper Saddle Ri ver, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Jonassen, D., Peck, K. & Wilson, B. (1999). Learning with Technology: A Constructivist Perspective Upper Saddle Creek, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kearney, C. A. (2000). Curriculum Partner: Redefining th e Role of the Library Media Specialist Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Krashen, S. (1993). The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Krashen, S. (2004). The Power of Reading: Insights From the Research (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Lance, K., Welborn, L., & Hamilton-Pennell, C. (1993). The Impact of School Library Media Centers on Academic Achievement Castle Rock, CO: Hi Willow Research and Publishing. Lance, K. (2002, February). Proof of the pow er: Impact of school library media programs on academic achievement. Teacher Librarian, 29 (3), 29-34.

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53 Lockard, J., & Abrams, P. D. (2004). Computers for Twenty-First Century Educators (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. MacDonald, R. M. (1997). The Internet and the School Library Media Specialist Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Miller, R. H. (2000, Spring). Electronic resources and academic libraries, 1980-2000: A historical perspective. Library Trends, 48 (4), 645-670. Orick, J. T. (2000). The virtual library: Ch anging roles and ethical challenges for librarians. International Informati on and Library Review, 32 313-324. Peck, R., Olsen, C., &Devore, J. (2001). Introduction to Statis tics and Data Analysis Pacific Grove, CA: Thomson Learning. Picciano, A. G. (2001). Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Prostano, E. T., & Prostano, J. S. (1987). The School Library Media Center (4th ed.). Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Prostano, E. T., & Prostano, J. S. (1999). The School Library Media Center (5th ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Roblyer, M. D. (2003). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (3rd ed.). Columbus, Ohio: Prentice Hall. Rodgers, E. M. (1995). Di ffusion of Innovations (4th ed.). New York: The Free Press. Stewart, L. A. (2000). Choosing between pr int and electronic res ources: The selection dilemma. The Reference Librarian (71), 79-97. Sweetland, J. H. (2000, Spring). Reviewing the World Wide WebTheory versus reality. Library Trends, 48 (4), 748-768. Thornton, G. A. (2000, Spring). Impact of electronic resources on collection development, the roles of libra rians, and library consortia. Library Trends, 48 (4), 842-856. Trotter, A. (1998). A question of effectiveness. Education Week, 18 (5), 7-9. Trotter, A. (1999). Preparing teachers for the digital age. Education Week, 19 (4), 37-46. U.S. Congress, O. o. T. A. (1995). Teachers and technology : Making the connection (No. OTA-ERH-616). Washington DC: U. S. Government Printing Office. Weber, M. B. (1999). Factors to be considered in the selection and cataloging of internet resources. Library Hi Tech, 17 (3), 298-303.

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54 Wright, K. (1993). The Challenge for Technology. Chicago, IL.: American Library Association. Wright, K. C., & Davie, J. F. (1999). Forecasting the Future: School Media Programs in an Age of Change (Vol. 3). Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press.

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55 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Seamus Eddy was born on June 2, 1973 in Larkspur, California. Seamus’ family moved to Stockton, California when Seamus was 5 years old. There Seamus attended Lincoln High School and the University of the Pacific and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1996. As Seamus began his career in education, he again attended the University of the Pacific and graduated with his Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction in May of 2001. During this time he became a licensed multiple subj ects teacher in the State of California and taught 5th grade for Stockton Unified Sc hool District. In the fall of 2001, Seamus pursued his interest in the fi eld of Educational Technology and attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Flor ida. At this time he became a licensed K-12 media specialist in the State of Florida. In May, 2007, Seamus received a Doctor ate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on educational technology from the School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, of the Univers ity of Florida. In 2007 Seamus plans to broaden his education by pursuing an Edu cation Policy and Administration Certificate from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.


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Title: The Impact of Subscription Electronic Resources on Selection Decisions by Media Specialists and Utilization Practices by Teachers and Students in Elementary Library Media Centers
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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THE IMPACT OF SUBSCRIPTION ELECTRONIC RESOURCES ON SELECTION
DECISIONS BY MEDIA SPECIALISTS AND UTRLIZATION PRACTICES BY
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS INT ELEMENTARY LIBRARY MEDIA CENTERS














By

SEAMUS B. EDDY


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2007
































Copyright 2007

by

Seamus B. Eddy
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would first like to thank my supervising committee chair, Dr. Jeff Hurt, for his

continual guidance throughout my doctoral education. I very much appreciate the time,

direction, and support that he provided over the years.

I would also like to thank Dr. Kenneth Lamb for his friendship and direction with

my study's statistical analysis. Dr. Lamb was instrumental in my completion of this

dissertation on schedule. Thanks also go to Dr. Mary Hall, Dr. Sebastian Foti, and Dr.

Katherine Gratto for all of their professional expertise and assistance.

I would also like to thank two of my friends from the University of Florida who

gave me as much support as any professor. I owe much to both Dr. Richard Hartshorne

from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Carl Fields, who will be graduating

with his Ph.D. in Educational Technology from the University of Florida in 2007, for

their friendship and help during the last 5 years.

Finally, love and thanks go to my parents, John and Janet Eddy, for everything.

Without their support I would have not finished.




















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENT S ............_...... ._ .............. iii...


LIST OF TABLES ............_...... ._ ..............vi....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ..........._..._ viii..


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............1.......... ......


Problem Statement ................. ...............4.................

Purpose Statement .............. ...............5.....
Research Questions............... ...............5
Significance of the Study ................. ...............5................

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................. ...............8.......... .....


Library Media Centers ................. ...............8............ ....
M edia Specialists ................. ......... ...............10.......
Selection and Collection Development ................. ...............11................
Subscription Electronic Resources .............. ...............12....
Summary ................. ...............19.................

3 METHODOLOGY .............. ...............21....


Population and Sample .............. ...............21....
Instrumentation ............ ..... .._ ...............22...
Preliminary Trial............... ...............22.
Data Collection .............. ...............23....
Statistical Analysis............... ...............24
Ethical Assurance .............. ...............25....


4 RE SULT S AND DI SCU SSION ............... ...............2


Research Question 1 ................ ......... .. .. . .......2
Subscription Electronic Resources Found in Elementary School .......................26
Funding Sources Used to Purchase Subscription Electronic Resources in
M edia Centers ............ _...... ._ ...............27....











Subscription Electronic Resources Affecting Available Money for Other
M materials .............. ............ ... .. ... ...............2
Media Specialists Perceived Adequate Funding for Subscription Electronic
Resources .................. ....... ... .... ... .......... .. ..... ..............2
How Purchases for Other Materials Have Changed as a Result of Information
Found on Subscription Electronic Resources .............. ...... ...............2
Materials Bought or Planned to Buy that Specifically Supplement
Subscription Electronic Resources ................... ....... .. ............3
Amount of Materials that Have Been Superseded by Superior Information
Found in Sub scription Electronic Resources ................ ........................3 1
Research Question 2: ...32.................
Subscription Electronic Resources Accurately Support School Curriculum ......32
Teachers Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic
Resources .............. ..... ...._ ....... ......... .... .. .. .......3
Media Center Having Computer Technology That Can Access Subscription
Electronic Resources Effectively ................... ... .........__.. .....___ .............3
Media Center Having the Technology Support for Hardware (Computers) and
Software to Access Subscription Electronic Resources ................. ...............35
Sum m ary .................. .......... ...............3.. 5....
Research Question 1 .............. ...............3 5....
Research Question 2 ................. ...............37................

5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................... ...............3


Research Question 1 .............. ...............38....
Research Question 2 .............. .... .. ...............39
Findings for Research Question 2 ...................... ...............40
Conclusions and Recommendations for Future Studies ................ ............. .......40
Other Recommendations for Future Studies............... ...............42

APPENDIX

A SPEARMAN' S RANK CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS............... ..............4

B SURVEY .............. ...............45....

C COVER LETTER ........._._.._......_.. ...............48....

LIST OF REFERENCES ........._._.._......_.. ...............51....

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............55....


















LIST OF TABLES


Table pg

3-1 Descriptions of the Number and Percentages of Sizes of School Districts ..............22

3-2 Descriptions of the School Districts, Size Codes, and Number of Respondents
from the Sample .............. ...............22....

4-1 Subscription Electronic Resources Found in Elementary School ............................26

4-2 Funding Sources Used to Purchase Subscription Electronic Resources in Media
Centers ........... __..... ._ ...............27....

4-3 Subscription Electronic Resources Effecting Available Money for Other
M ateri als ................. ...............28........... ....

4-4 Media Specialists Perceived Adequate Funding for Subscription Electronic
Resources .............. ...............28....

4-5 How Purchases for Other Materials Have Changed as a Result of Information
Found on Subscription Electronic Resources............... ...............3

4-6 How Media Specialists Would Spend Extra Money in Budget .............. ................30

4-7 Materials Bought or Planned to Buy that Specifically Supplement Subscription
Electronic Resources ................. ...............3.. 1..............

4-8 Amount of Materials that Have Been Superseded by Superior Information
Found in Subscription Electronic Resources .............. ...............32....

4-9 Subscription Electronic Resources Accurately Support School Curriculum ...........32

4-10 Teachers Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic
Resources .............. ...............33....

4-11 Students Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic
Resources .............. ...............34....

4-12 Media Center Having Computer Technology That Can Access Subscription
Electronic Resources Effectively .............. ...............34....










4-13 Media Center Having the Technology Support for Hardware (Computers) and
Software to Access Sub scription Electronic Resources ................. ............... .....3 5

A-1. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients of interest comparing survey questions
6, 7, 8, and 9. ............. ...............44.....
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education

THE IMPACT OF SUBSCRIPTION ELECTRONIC RESOURCES ON SELECTION
DECISIONS BY MEDIA SPECIALISTS AND UTRLIZATION PRACTICES BY
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS INT ELEMENTARY LIBRARY MEDIA CENTERS

By

Seamus B. Eddy

May 2007

Chair: JeffHurt
Major Department: Teaching and Learning

Media specialists' selection decisions for collection development determine the

materials found in elementary library media centers and schools. Our study examined the

extent to which subscription electronic resources (SERs) effect elementary media

specialists' selection decisions. Subscription electronic resources also must be

effectively utilized by teachers and students. Therefore, we also determined to what

extent teachers and students effectively utilize SERs in elementary library media centers.

Results indicated that SERs did not have a maj or effect on media specialists' selection

decisions for other materials in elementary library media center collections. We also

found that media specialists do not prioritize adding additional SERs with existing SERs.

The SERs generally do not have a significant influence on the addition of many materials

specifically designed to supplement the use of SERs or superseding other materials found

in elementary library media centers. Findings also showed that although SERs support

school curriculum, they are only marginally utilized by teachers and students.










Elementary library media centers were also found to have adequate technological

hardware and support personnel for use of SERs. The results of this study provide a

foundation for future research related to SERs impact on media specialists' selection

decisions and on the effective utilization of SERs by teachers and students in library

media centers.















CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

According to the American Association of School Librarians and Association for

Educational Communications and Technology (1988), the purpose of the library media

center in schools is to provide teachers and students with educational resources and

learning activities (AASL/AECT, 1988). Library media centers are facilities located

within schools that house, display, circulate, and facilitate the use of materials to their

users. They provide materials for teachers and students that support the schools'

curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1988, Prostano & Prostano,

1999, 1987). As the hub of student learning in schools, library media centers have been

shown to have a positive impact on student learning (Didier, 1984, Lance, 2002, Lance,

Welborn, & Hamilton-Pennell, 1993).

By law or mandate in most states, library media centers are administrated by

certified media specialists. Media specialists promote and direct their school's library

media programs (AASL/AECT, 1988, 1998, Cleaver & Taylor, 1989, Doll, 2005,

Kearney, 2000). They are responsible, among many other services, for the selection of

materials that become a part of their library media center collections (AASL/AECT,

1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). "Selection is an active process performed by

professional librarians who consider and make purchasing decisions on the basis of their

knowledge of the collection as a whole and the needs of the clients of the library" (Orick,

2000, p.316). Selection is an essential service performed by media specialists because it

determines the curricular material for collection development in library media centers










(AASL/AECT, 1988, Evans, 2000, Gardner, 1981, Prostano & Prostano, 1987).

Consequently, selection and collection development choices can affect the extent to

which teachers and students effectively use quality materials to promote student

achievement (Krashen, 2004, Lance, 2002).

Collection development in elementary library media centers should always support

the curricular guidelines of the school (AASL/AECT 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz 1988,

Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Supporting school curriculum is the primary

function of all library media programs (Prostano & Prostano, 1999). However, selection

and collection development are continuous processes that evolve with changes in school

curriculum, clientele needs, and the integration of educational technology. As selection

and collection development evolve, media specialists are faced with new challenges in

providing updated curricular resources to their clientele. Recently, collection

development plans have had to contend with the contrasting issues of high user demands

for electronic resources, such as subscription electronic resources, and limited funding in

library budgets (Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000).

In addressing these demand issues, media specialists have integrated Internet-based

electronic resources into their collections. The availability of Internet websites provides

extensive amounts of educational information and resources to teachers and students in

schools (Bitter & Pierson, 2002, Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002,

MacDonald, 1997, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). However, because they are unregulated,

many Internet websites do not possess valid or reliable content for educational purposes

(Brooks, 2001, Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002, Sweetland, 2000).

Inaccurate information found on Internet websites has led media specialists to select and










acquire subscription electronic resources in their collections (Brooks, 2001, Gregory,

2000). Subscription electronic resources (SERs) are online electronic resources accessed

through the Internet that provide specialized curricular support for a contracted fee.

Educational information retrieved from SERs is more accurate and current than general

information retrieved on Internet websites (Gregory, 2000). Subscription electronic

resources also provide teachers and students with current curricular information that is

readily available. Therefore, media specialists are increasingly selecting and integrating

subscription electronic resources as necessary educational resources for elementary

library media centers.

Research indicates that media specialists' selection decisions are being affected by

the presence of SERs (Davis, 1997, Evans, 2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart,

2000, Weber, 1999). Although SERs are effective curricular tools for learning, they are

very expensive to acquire and maintain (Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Library media

center resources are limited and must be allocated efficiently to all library media center

programs (Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Consequently, limited library media program

budgets may cause SERs to alter selection decisions for other materials in elementary

library media center collections.

The selection of materials that are utilized by teachers and students can positively

impact student learning only as far as their effective use allows. In order to be effectively

utilized, educational technology must support the school curriculum in a manner that

supports structured student learning (AASL/AECT, 1988, 1998, Dede, 2000, Eisenberg

& Berkowitz, 1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). When integrating educational

technology, such as SERs, into the teaching and learning environment, the use should be









meaningful and effective (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, Roblyer, 2003,

Trotter, 1998). The effective utilization of educational technology is necessary to

positively influence student learning (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999).

Subscription electronic resources should therefore be effectively utilized by teachers and

students in elementary library media centers.

Another essential factor in establishing effective use of SERs is for library media

centers to possess adequate technology for successful operation (Lockard & Abrams,

2004, Picciano, 2006, Trotter, 1999, US Congress, 1995). Adequate technology includes

both sufficient computer equipment and skilled technology proficient personnel.

Consequently, when determining the effective utilization of SERs, it is important to know

if SERs are supporting school curriculum, to understand how they are being used by

teachers and students, and to identify whether library media centers possesses the

adequate technology essential for their successful operation.

Problem Statement

Media specialists' selection decisions for collection development determine the

materials found in elementary library media centers and schools. As a result, selection

decisions made by media specialists can have an impact on student learning (Krashen,

2004, Lance, 2002). The presence of SERs in library media center collections creates the

potential for significant changes to occur in selection decisions (Davis, 1997, Evans,

2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000, Weber, 1999). Due to limited library

media program budgets, media specialists' selection decisions for SERs may effect

selection decisions for other materials in elementary media center collections.

Subscription electronic resources must also be effectively utilized by teachers and

students. This is necessary in order for SERs to positively affect student learning (Dede,










2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). To date, no research studies have been

conducted that indicate whether media specialists' selection decisions are being affected

by SERs or if SERs are being used effectively by teachers and students in elementary

library media centers.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which the presence of

subscription electronic resources affects the selection of other library media center

materials and to determine if subscription electronic resources are being effectively used

by teachers and students in elementary library media centers.

Research Questions

The main questions that this study will seek to address:

1. To what extent does the presence of subscription electronic resources in elementary
library media center collections effect media specialists' selection decisions?

2. To what extent are subscription electronic resources in elementary library media
centers being effectively utilized by teachers and students?

Significance of the Study

This study is necessary because it addresses media specialists' selection decisions

of, and the effective use of, SERs in elementary library media center collections.

Selection decisions made in elementary library media center collections can have a maj or

impact on overall student learning done in schools (Krashen, 2004, Lance, 2002). The

effective use of selected SERs also impacts student learning (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, 1996,

Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). Thus, it is important to determine how SERs affect

media specialists' selection decisions for other materials found in elementary library

media center collections and also to determine how effective the utilization of SERs is by

teachers and students. This study is significant to elementary media specialists, or to










those that select and acquire SERs for elementary library media center collections, in that

it attempts to better understand SERs' role in elementary library media center collections.

Limitations

* The analysis of data could not be generalized to elementary library media centers in
states other than Florida.

* The sample of those participants surveyed for this study includes only kindergarten
through 5th grade and pre-kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school media
specialists in the State of Florida.

* The definition of subscription electronic resources could be interpreted differently
by various elementary media specialists. A narrowly defined definition was not
included in the data collection instrument used in this study.

Definitions

Collection development: "A systematic process administered by the library media

staff to bring together the materials and equipment to meet users' needs" (AASL/ALA,

1988, p, 72).

Effective use: The operation of materials in a manner that is producing a decided,

decisive, or desired effect.

Electronic resources: Non-print titles found in a library collection designed for

educational purposes that contain some electrical component.

Library media center: The area of a school that houses educational material,

equipment, expertise, and space to service its clientele.

Library media program: The school wide academic plan administered by media

specialists to implement the curricular goals of the school through the library media

center to all of its users.

Media specialist: An educator that is licensed by a state to manage and operate a

library media center at a school.










Selection: The process of determining exactly what educational materials will be

chosen to be added to the library media center' s collection.

Subscription electronic resources: Educational electronic resources that are found

on the Internet that must be subscribed to for a contracted time and fee.















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The purpose of this chapter is to provide in-depth review of the research literature

related to the research questions. The literature review is divided into five sections:

Library Media Centers, Media Specialists, Selection and Collection Development,

Subscription Electronic Resources, and the Effective Utilization of Subscription

Electronic Resources.

Library Media Centers

The American Association of School Librarians and the Association for

Educational Communications and Technology (1988), who are a primary authority in the

field of library sciences, define library media centers as a place to "provide the space for

the materials, equipment, and services, needed to achieve the mission, goals, and

objectives of the library media program" (AASL/AECT, 1988, p.85). Additionally, in

defining the primary function to be carried out by library media centers, they state, "The

central function of the library media center facility is the housing, circulation, and

centralized distribution of the collection of information resources and equipment used in

the school's instructional program" (AASL/AECT, p.87). Library media centers house,

circulate, and distribute print materials, electronic resources, and equipment that enable

teachers and students to utilize the various resources that support school curriculum.

Library media centers are designed to provide intellectual and physical access to

resources that support the school curriculum in multiple subj ect areas and formats for its

users (AASL/AECT, 1988). Prostano and Prostano (1999) define the school curriculum









as "all the learning activities planned, organized, and carried out under the auspices of the

school" (p. 81). They claim that the goal for library media centers is to have the complete

integration of all educational materials into the school curriculum (Prostano & Prostano,

1999). By integrating all educational materials into school curriculum, library media

centers promote more frequent and focused use of educational materials by teachers and

students. The promotion of educational resources positively affects student learning

experiences. Eisenberg and Berkowitz (1988) state that the purpose of a library media

center is to promote the school curriculum and to see the school's curricular goals turned

into student learning experiences. In order for this to occur successfully, library media

center patrons must have access to numerous educational resources and professional

services. They also maintain that it is crucial for library media centers to possess a wide

range of curricular resources in various formats to enhance student learning experiences.

Ultimately, the goal of library media centers is to positively impact student

achievement. Library media centers that effectively implement their school's curricular

programs show a positive impact on student learning. Didier (1984) synthesizes

numerous readings on the positive academic impact of library media centers, proving

how library media programs with centralized library media centers increase standardized

test scores for elementary students. Lance, Welborn, & Hamilton-Pennell, (1993) also

provide research evidence of the positive academic impact of library media centers on

student achievement in schools. They found that the funding of library media centers

directly effects student test scores. Lance (2002) also concludes that teachers and

students effectively utilizing their library media center programs increase the academic









achievement levels of students. Therefore, viable library media centers are essential to

fulfilling the curricular support and student achievement in schools.

Media Specialists

Media specialists are responsible for administering and promoting their school's

library media programs. They are "partners in the learning process that provide a link

between a well developed library media programs and the users served by the program"

(AASL/AECT, 1988, p.24). A major responsibility for media specialists is to translate

the curricular goals of the school into learning experiences for students (AASL/AECT,

1988, 1998, Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1989). "Library media specialists have special

responsibility for the information resources of schools: how information is made

available, how it is integrated with curriculum, and how students and faculty colleagues

acquire the skills and attitudes that make information a productive presence in their lives

and futures" (Cleaver & Taylor, 1989, p. vii). Kearney (2000) contends that media

specialists must be knowledgeable about all levels of school curriculum, understand

curricular design, and participate in its creation if they are to operate an effective library

media program. "Media specialists have an important role to play in the development

and implantation of the general school curriculum as a contributor, participant, and

consultant" (Prostano and Prostano, 1999, p. 81). Clearly, media specialists have

numerous important responsibilities to teachers, students, and administrators when

integrating curricular materials into their media center programs.

In order to provide the highest levels of service to the school community, media

specialists must also provide expertise and leadership to the school community so that the

library media program is an integral part of the instructional program of the school

(AASL/AECT, 1988, Doll, 2005, Kearney, 2000). They must develop lasting










partnerships with teachers in the planning, implementation, and assessment of school

curriculum so that the library media program is effectively promoted to all of its users

(Doll, 2005, Kearney, 2000). For example, Doll (2005) claims media specialists'

understanding of collaboration theories and techniques can develop productive

interpersonal working partnerships with teachers and administrators. Kearney (2000)

concurs in that media specialists must create active partnerships with teachers in order to

successfully implement the curricular programs of the library media center. Partnerships

between media specialists and teachers should provide comprehensive assistance to both

parties in achieving curricular programs across all subj ect areas (Kearney, 2000). All

media specialists should have the goal of not only being successful in administering

library media programs, but also effectively promoting them to all of its users as well.

Selection and Collection Development

One of the many responsibilities media specialists fulfill is the selection of library

media center materials for collection development (AASL/AECT, 1988, Prostano &

Prostano, 1987). Selection is the process of media specialists making decisions on what

materials to add to their library media center collections. "Collection development is a

systematic process administered by the library media staff to bring together the materials

and equipment to meet user' s needs" (AASL/AECT, 1988, p. 72). Evans (2000) stresses

the fundamental importance of collection development is that it "is the process of

creating a plan to correct collection weaknesses while maintaining its strengths" (p.70).

Prostano & Prostano (1987) offer that the purpose of collection development is to

translate knowledge of user needs into action through evaluation, selection, acquisition,

and organizational processes. Media specialists are responsible for all of these actions

and must take an active role in evaluating their collections routinely in order to









successfully select new materials for collections. Selection and collection development

are comprehensive and require skilled professionals to administer successfully. Gardner

(1981) proposes that selection decisions for materials are made on a continuum between

the perceived quality of the material and the client demand for the material. When

selecting materials, media specialists must weigh the quality of materials for collection

development with the demand of the users of the library media program. Media

specialists must commonly make selection decisions for new materials with no clear

correct choice presented. Thus, it is very important that media specialists understand all

aspects of their library media center collections as best as possible to make informed

selection decisions.

Selection decisions that make up the library media center collections are designed

to support the school curriculum (AASL/AECT 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz 1988,

Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). It should be a goal for every media specialist

to provide teachers and students with quality resources and training with all equipment

that assist in student learning and improving student achievement. The educational

quality and number of materials in library media center collections effects the overall use

of those materials and, consequently, student achievement on standardized tests (Lance,

2002). Krashen (2004) concludes that library media centers with materials of higher

quality and quantity will be used more often by students, enhancing their reading and

language education. Therefore, the selection of materials that support the school

curriculum in library media programs is an integral part of successful student learning.

Subscription Electronic Resources

Media specialists play an important role in the integration of educational

technology material into school curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1998, Prostano & Prostano,










1999, Wright & Davie, 1999). As a result of high demand by the users of library media

programs, media specialists have integrated electronic resources into library media center

collections. One such maj or electronic resource utilized in library media centers is the

Internet. Internet sites are the most notable and challenging electronic resources for

media specialists to integrate. The Internet provides users with access to extensive

amounts of educational information (Bitter & Pierson, 2002, Heinich, Molenda, Russell,

& Smaldino, 2002, MacDonald, 1997, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). However, due to a

lack of regulation, many educational Internet sites are not appropriate for student use.

Consequently, many Internet sites are unreliable and contain invalid content (Brooks,

2001, Heinich et al., 2002, Sweetland, 2000). Brooks (2001) states that there is

uncertainty surrounding the credibility of many free educational Internet sites and

librarians face challenges in determining what electronic resource information should be

integrated into their collections. Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino (2002) also

have reservations about the authority of many Internet sites stating, "Anybody can post

anything on the Web, including unsubstantiated, erroneous, or untruthful information" (p.

272). Moreover, Sweetland (2000) describes that users and developers of Internet sites

can be unconcerned with reliability, validity and accuracy. He also claims that

professional librarians, such as media specialists, are necessary for selecting and applying

quality electronic resources information from Internet sites.

Due to the difficulties associated with integrating quality electronic resource

information from the Internet sites into the school curriculum, media specialists have

selected, acquired, and integrated subscription electronic resources (SERs) as superior

curricular materials (Brooks, 2001, Gregory, 2000). Subscription electronic resources are










programs found on the Internet that contain specialized educational information and are

subscribed to for a contracted period of time and fee. Information found within SERs is

more accurate and valid than Internet sites (Brooks, 2001, Gregory, 2000). This is

because SERs provide users with high quality and access to detailed educational

information that is supported and maintained by professional educators and technological

support staff. Because of this, Gregory (2000) claims that SERs should be integrated into

collection development policies in libraries. Subscription electronic resources "have

become valid and necessary primary sources of information, they must be acquired in

ways so as to fit into an overall collection plan" (Gregory, 2000, p. 94). Brooks (2001)

adds that quality Internet-based information materials, such as SERs, should be selected

for libraries because such materials would add more curricular value to existing libraries.

Therefore, if it is feasible, SERs should be added into elementary library media center

collections to enhance the curricular information available for teachers and students.

Selecting SERs alters the curricular resources available in library media center

collections. Consequently, media specialists' selection decisions are affected by the

presence of SERs (Davis, 1997, Evans, 2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart,

2000, Weber, 1999). Subscription electronic resources are expensive to add to library

media center collections (Stewart, 2000, Weber, 2000). Stewart (2000) provides

comprehensive criteria of selection decisions for SERs. In these criteria, the cost of the

SERs is seen as a major selection challenge for librarians. Library media programs have

increased demands upon materials and services offered in library media centers. Due to

these increased demands and limited library media center budgets, resources spent on

library media programs must be allocated efficiently (Prostano & Prostano, 1999).









Weber (2000) presents that it is important for selectors of SERs to determine and relate

the relative advantage they provide over less expensive similar print material found in

collections in order to justify acquisitions to the school community. Media specialists

must therefore understand and communicate not only which SERs are desired to be added

to library media collections, but also their specific curricular purposes. The acquisition

of SERs may limit the budget accessible for purchasing other materials, resources, and

equipment. As a result, the presence of SERs may similarly affect media specialists'

selection decisions for other materials in elementary library media center collections.

Effective Utilization of Subscription Electronic Resources

Although subscription electronic resources may affect media specialist' s selection

decisions for other materials in a collection, they also must be utilized efficiently and

with purpose by teachers and students for enhanced student learning to occur (Dede,

2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). For the effective utilization of subscription

electronic resources to occur in elementary library media centers, three criteria must

occur. First, subscription electronic resources must support and follow the school

curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1998, Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). The second

decisive criterion that needs to occur is that SERs have to be effectively used by teachers

and students (Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, Trotter, 1998). Third, library media

centers must provide adequate technological support to effectively operate SERs

(Lockard & Abrams, 2004, Picciano, 2006, Roblyer, 2003, Trotter, 1999). All three are

necessary for enhanced student learning to occur from teachers and students utilizing

subscription electronic resources.










A maj or factor in enhancing student learning is for educational technology, such as

SERs, to be successfully integrated into the school curriculum (AASL/AECT, 1998,

Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Prostano & Prostano (1999) explain that new

forms of educational media that support the school curriculum need to be made available

to teachers and students in library media centers. New forms of educational media, such

as SERs, are selected with the fundamental intention of supporting the school curriculum

in elementary library media center collections. However, having SERs that support

school curriculum available for users in library media centers is not necessarily enough to

enhance student achievement (Dede, 2000, Jonnasen, Peck, Wilson, 1999). Subscription

electronic resources that support school curriculum must also be utilized effectively by

teachers and students and possess adequate support technology to positively affect

student learning.

Another factor that determines if SERs are being effectively utilized by teachers

and students is to assess whether or not users have meaningful and effective purpose

when operating them. (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999, Trotter, 1998).

Subscription electronic resources found in library media center collections vary greatly

with the use they receive. Trotter (1998) claims that the difficulty in determining the

effectiveness of certain forms of educational technology is that there is so little consensus

about their purpose. Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson (1999) also maintain that when utilizing

educational technology, there must be clear educational obj ectives to students about the

purpose of their use. Furthermore, a technologically proficient media specialist should be

available to assist teachers in shaping purposeful lessons founded on school curriculum.









This collaboration will assist in providing users with a more effective use of educational

technology by teachers and students.

The overall goal of using educational technology effectively in schools is to

enhance student learning. Media specialists select, acquire, and integrate educational

technology into library media programs for the purpose of enhancing student learning

(AASL/AECT, 1998, Prostano & Prostano, 1999). Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson (1999)

believe that authentic student learning occurs when educational technology is "used as

engagers and facilitators of thinking and knowledge construction" (1999, p. 13).

Authentic student learning should be principal in the design of integrating educational

technology into school curriculum. Educational technology can be utilized in teaching

strategies that promote the effective of such electronic resources. For example, Dede

(2000) provides that educational technology can be used to develop research-based

curriculum proj ects that can focus on problem solving for students. Subscription

electronic resources can be used by teachers and students in the creation of such research-

based curriculum projects. The main idea behind developing these projects is for

educators, such as media specialists, to provide learning opportunities for users to

experience authentic learning that is purpose driven. Subscription electronic resources

should therefore be integrated and utilized by media specialists and teachers into the

school curriculum with the purpose of promoting authentic student learning.

The last component that determines if SERs are being effectively utilized by

teachers and students is for library media centers to possess adequate technology for their

successful operation (Lockard & Abrams, 2004, Picciano, 2006, Roblyer, 2003, Trotter,

1999). Library media centers need to have sufficient computer hardware and









technological support from skilled personnel in order to maintain the proper functioning

of viable subscription electronic resource services. Media specialists, and those who

administer library media center budgets, must also be aware of all the financial costs

associated with maintaining viable subscription electronic resource services. Roblyer

(2003) consents "that the initial cost of equipment is only a fraction of the funds required

to keep it available and useful to teachers" (Roblyer, 2003, p.36). Maintenance

requirements and security concerns for computer hardware can greatly impact the ability

for teachers and students to successfully utilize SERs. Subscription electronic resources

therefore need to be administered by qualified personnel to insure their continuous

successful operation.

Along with possessing adequate technology in library media centers, media

specialists must have access to qualified personnel skilled in technological maintenance

support for SERs. Locakard & Abrams (2004) believe that educators must have access to

all necessary technological expertise to successfully operate schools' educational

technology. Such access is vital for the continued successful operation of subscription

electronic resources. Picciano (2006) goes further in that educators need to have a sound

understanding of the media resources available to them and to also successfully operate,

maintain, and instruct others on their use. Trotter (1999) also agrees that media

specialists should be responsible in facilitating all technological aspects of integrating

subscription electronic resources into library media center collections. However, many

educators simply do not have the necessary skills necessary to troubleshoot technological

problems that are associated with utilizing computer hardware and software. Therefore,

media specialists must take the initiative in being their schools' technological expert for










operating all available computer equipment found in library media centers. In many

instances, media specialists do act as the technology expert for their library media center

or school, but in all cases, the library media center should have access to skilled

personnel that can maintain computer application such as SERs.

Summary

In this chapter the role of library media centers, media specialists, selection and

collection development, subscription electronic resources, and the effective utilization of

SERs were all examined to determine the extent to which the presence of SERs affects

the selection of other library media center materials and to determine if SERs are being

effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Library

media centers are the locales in schools where all aspects of the library media program

are carried out. They are designed to provide accessible resources and services to the

school community. Library media centers have recently provided electronic resources to

teachers and students for the purpose of providing updated electronic resources that assist

in student learning.

Media specialists are licensed professionals responsible for administering and

promoting school library media programs. They create active partnerships with teachers

to provide resources for curricular support. This includes media specialists selecting and

integrating innovative educational technology, such as SERs, into the library media

center collections. Additionally, media specialists are responsible for making selection

decisions that determine the collection development of resources in library media centers.

Media specialists have been selecting and integrating SERs as opposed to potentially less

valid Internet websites in library media center collections due to the superior educational

information made available to teachers and students. As a result, the added expense of










SERs may affect media specialists' selection decisions for other resources in library

media center collections.

Subscription electronic resources must be utilized effectively for enhanced student

learning to occur. For effective utilization to happen, SERs found in library media

centers must fulfill three criteria. Subscription electronic resources must first support

school curriculum. They must also be used with purpose by teachers and students for the

effective use of SERs to positively impact student learning. Finally, library media

centers must possess adequate technology in terms of both equipment and technological

support for the successful operation and maintenance of SERs.














CHAPTER 3
IVETHODOLOGY

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the methodology used to investigate the

extent to which the presence of subscription databases used in elementary library media

centers affects the selection of materials to be included in those collections.

Population and Sample

Elementary media specialists in the State of Florida were the focus of this study.

A Florida Department of Education directory was used to identify the sampling field of

all elementary media specialists (FLDOE). A random sampling of kindergarten through

5th grade and pre-kindergarten through 5th grade elementary schools throughout the State

of Florida was taken; the elementary media specialists' schools were numbered and 700

random samples were chosen (Table 3-1). A total of 700 surveys were mailed

representing 46% of the targeted population of 1,521 kindergarten through 5th grade

(K-5) and pre-kindergarten through 5th grade (pre K-5) elementary schools in the State of

Florida (Table 3-2). Although the Florida Department of Education stated 1839 K-5 and

pre-K-5 elementary schools exists, only 1,521 were available for data analysis by the

Alachua County School District. These data proved to be robust as responses across

varying school district sizes were similar (Table A-1). The targeted sample of 700 was

chosen to ensure a satisfactory response rate and to insure the validity of the study. The

researcher desired a percentage response of at least 25% for the 700 targeted sample

respondents. A total of 302 surveys were returned by respondent K-5 and pre-K-5

elementary Florida media specialists representing a 43.1% sample response rate.









Table 3-1 Descriptions of the number and percentages of sizes of school districts.
Size of school 5 Very 4 Large 3 Medium 2 Medium 1 Small
district determined largest /small
by number of >100,000 40,000 to 20,000 to 7,000 to <7,000
K-12 students 100,000 40,000 20,000
Number of K-5 and
pre K-5 elementary N=970 N=3 36 N=3 33 N=115 N=85
schools in Florida
(n=1839)
Number of media
specialist 128 85 39 32 15
participants
(n=299)*
Percentages of K-5
and Pre K-5 52.7% 24.3% 12.0% 6.3% 4.6%
elementary schools
in Florida
Percentages of size
of school district 42.8% 28.4% 13.0% 10.7% 5.0%
from respondents
(n=299)
Jf Information on school district scale and elementary school percentages obtained from
the Florida Department of Education website
* 3 unidentified participants

Instrumentation

The data collection instrument (Appendix B) was a two-page survey designed and

created by the researcher. This was done to identify responses regarding media

specialists' responses on SERs effecting selection decisions for other materials in

elementary library media center collections and how effectively the SERs are being

utilized by teachers and students. The survey questions were described to specifically

answer the research questions as to ensure the validity and reliability of the study.

Preliminary Trial

A preliminary test to improve the reporting instrument was conducted among two

selected elementary library media specialists who would not be receiving the final

survey. The researcher and dissertation committee members evaluated feedback and










suggestions from these two media specialists of the test group to revise and clarify survey

questions. Changes were made to make the survey easier to comprehend for elementary

media specialists. The alterations made to the survey by experienced media specialists

enhanced the quality and effectiveness of the data collection instrument. This in turn

enhanced the measure which predicts a valid sample exhibiting characteristics of the

population.

Table 3-2 Descriptions of the school districts, size codes, and number of respondents
from the sample
School Size Number of media School Size Number of media
di stri ct code specialists di stri ct code specialists

Alachua 3 8 Leon 3 10
Brevard 4 2 Levy 1 2
Broward 5 1 Madison 1 1
Charlotte 2 2 Manatee 4 13
Citrus 2 3 Marion 3 8
Collier 4 5 Martin 2 5
Columbia 2 4 Monroe 2 2
Dade 5 20 Nassau 2 7
Duval 5 13 Okaloosa 4 9
Escambia 4 1 Okeechobee 1 3
Flagler 2 1 Orange 5 10
Gadsden 1 1 Osceola 4 1
Gilchri st 1 2 Palm Beach 5 22
Gulf 1 1 Pasco 4 3
Hernando 3 4 Pinellas 5 21
Hillsborough 5 42 Polk 4 15
Holmes 1 1 Putnam 2 4
Indian River 2 2 Santa Rosa 3 1
Jackson 2 4 Seminole 4 12
Jefferson 1 1 St. Lucie 3 2
Lake 3 6 Volusia 4 13
Lee 4 10 Walton 1 1
Jf Sample size n=299 with 3 unidentified responses

Data Collection

A simple random sampling was conducted to provide fairness and inference to the

population (Agresti & Finlay, 1999). The survey was mailed August 23rd, 2006 to 700









Florida elementary media specialists at their respective library media centers. All

elementary schools that were sent a survey were either classified by the State of Florida

as K-5 or pre K-5. Each survey was printed on colored paper in an attempt to improve

the survey return rate by gaining the attention of the recipient (Borg & Gall, 1983).

Elementary media specialists were sent surveys printed on light colors of paper for ease

of identification. A cover letter (Appendix C) accompanied the survey to explain the

reason for the survey and to guarantee confidentially. A self-addressed stamped envelop

was included to increase the percentage of returned surveys by participants (Aday, 1996).

The surveys were coded to enable efficient recording of the school district of origin from

each of the returns. The code on the surveys did not reveal any names or personal

information of any media specialists.

Statistical Analysis

The investigator used a quantitative methods descriptive study to analyze

participants' responses in the experiment. A researcher-designed survey was used to

collect data (Appendix B). Statistical analysis methods used frequency data (PROC

FREQ) and Spearman's rank correlation coefficients (PROC CORR) (SAS, 2006). These

statistical analyses were used to answer the two research questions posed in chapter one

(Aday, 1996, Peck, Olsen, & Devore, 2001). Frequencies were chosen by the researcher

to describe percent distribution of respondents' data in both research questions. The

Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient was chosen because it does not assume normal

distribution and data can be used for variables measured at the ordinal level. The

Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient data was not shown due to a lack of any

significant correlations between variables (Appendix A). Frequency data were then

aggregated for descriptive statistics analysis.









Ethical Assurance

The researcher received informed consent forms from the participants when

conducting the experiment. Informed consent forms were approved by the Institutional

Review Board at the University of Florida (UF IRB Protocol #2006-U-633). The UF

IRB form describes the nature and purpose of this study, the procedures to be followed,

the confidentiality of research data and the voluntary participation as advised. The form

additionally indicates that voluntary participation would not affect the participants'

academic consequences in any way. Participants were provided with personal

information of the investigator, supervisor' s names, addresses, emails, and phone

numbers for participants' questions and concerns about the experiment.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The purpose of this study was to examine the two research questions stated in

Chapter 1. The first research question explores the extent to which the presence of

subscription electronic resources (SERs) affects the selection of other library media

center materials. The second research question explores the extent to which SERs are

being effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary library media centers.

Frequency data and Spearman's rank correlation coefficients were used to analyze the

quantitative data.

Research Question 1

*To what extent does the presence of SERs in elementary library media center
collections effect media specialists' selection decisions?

Subscription Electronic Resources Found in Elementary School

Of the K-5 and pre K-5 elementary media specialists in Florida, 88.4% possess

SERs in their library media center collections (Table 4-1). Only 11.6% of the

Table 4-1 Subscription electronic resources found in elementary school
Survey question 4:
Subscription electronic resources found in elementary school Percentage of
(n=302) respondents
Yes 88.4 (n=267)
No 11.6 (n=35)

respondents claimed that they did not possess any SERs in their library media center

collections. Therefore, 1 1.6% of the respondents either continue to use Internet websites

that do not necessarily possess valid or reliable content for educational purposes or do not









use any online educational information in library media centers (Brooks, 2001, Heinich,

Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002, Sweetland, 2000).

Funding Sources Used to Purchase Subscription Electronic Resources in Media
Centers

Virtually all elementary media specialists (98.9%) receive funding for SERs in

their library media center collections from their respective school districts (Table 4-2).

Although some SERs are financed through media center budgets (9. 1%), and outside

donations or other school funds (6.8%), many of these respondents also received funding

through their school district. It is important to note that in Table 4-2 the respondents

were able to answer one, two, or all three answers revealing what sources SERs are

funded in library media center collections. The 267 media specialists in the study that

have SERs in their collections made a total of 303 responses. The data suggests that

media specialists perceive that selection decisions made for SERs in elementary library

media center collections is primarily done at the school district level and not through the

selection decisions of individual media specialists.

Table 4-2 Funding sources used to purchase subscription electronic resources in media
centers
Survey question 5:
Funding sources used to purchase subscription electronic resources Percentage of
in media centers (n=267)* respondents
Media center budget 9.1 (n=24)
School district 98.9 (n=261)
Outside donations or other school funds 6.8 (n=18)
*Respondents may answer more than one response 303 responses

Subscription Electronic Resources Affecting Available Money for Other Materials

Of the respondents, 44.8% of respondents believe that SERs found in media center

collections do not affect money being available for other materials (Table 4-3).

However, 41.6% of elementary media specialists feel that SERs do have a "somewhat" to









"very much so" impact on the purchases made for other materials in library media center

collections. This information reveals that there is little consensus among elementary

media specialists as to the impact of SERs on purchasing power for other materials in

library media center collections.

Table 4-3 Subscription electronic resources affecting available money for other materials
Survey question 6:
Subscription electronic resources affecting available money for Percentage of
other materials (n=257) (10 non respondents) respondents
(1) Not at all 44.8 (n=115)
(2) 13.6 (n=35)
(3) Somewhat 17.1 (n=44)
(4) 6.2 (n=16)
(5) Very much so 18.3 (n=47)

Media Specialists Perceived Adequate Funding for Subscription Electronic
Resources

Only 20.3% of elementary media specialists believe that not enough money is

being spent on SERs in their library media center collections (Table 4-4). The majority

of elementary media specialists (71.4%) feel that there is an adequate amount of funding

attributed to acquiring SERs to library media center collections. However, very few

media specialists (8.4%) believe that too much money is being spent on SERs. Most

elementary media specialists feel that there are adequate resources attributed to SERs, but

there exists a sizable minority that do not feel enough money is being spent on SERs.

How Purchases for Other Materials Have Changed as a Result of Information
Found on Subscription Electronic Resources

In survey question 8 elementary media specialist respondents could answer more

than one response due to the different areas of information obtained in the question

(Table 4-5). Respondents have shown that 29.2% of elementary media specialists feel

that they have spent less on print materials as a result of the information found on SERs.









Table 4-4 Media specialists perceived adequate funding for subscription electronic
resources
Survey question 7:
Media specialists perceived adequate funding for subscription Percentage of
electronic resources (n=262) (5 non respondents) respondents
(1) Not enough money spent 9.2 (n=24)
(2) Less money than should be 11.1 (n=29)
(3) Appropriate amount of money 71.4 (n=187)
(4) A little bit more money 6.9 (n=18)
(5) Too much money being spent 1.5 (n=4)

This response could be a result of certain forms of print reference materials being

replaced by SERs that are online reference materials. Elementary media specialists

believe that other non-subscription electronic resources (non SERs) are the largest

category not purchased (44.6%) due to the presence of SERs in elementary library media

center collections. This suggests that the selection of SERs have taken the place and

function of non SERs found in elementary library media center collections. A small

percentage (6.4%) of respondents has spent less on equipment as a result of information

found on SERs. This indicates that equipment purchases are only slightly affected by the

information found on SERs. Only 4. 1% of respondents have selected and acquired more

SERs to library media center collections. This suggests that the SERs present in library

media center collections are either sufficient in library media programs, or there is little

priority in complementing existing SERs with newer SERs. A major discovery of

information retrieved in survey question 8 is that 29.2% of respondents either did not

answer survey question 8 or made comments to the side of the question on the survey that

stated that there was no change in purchases for other materials as a result of information

found on SERs. The last category for "no change in purchases for other materials" was

created after all responses had been collected and was necessary to describe valid

information from the surveys (Table 4-5). The researcher considered that not initially









including "no change in purchases for other materials" in survey question 8 before

sending the surveys to the sample to be an instrumentation design error (Appendix B).

Table 4-5 How purchases for other materials have changed as a result of information
found on subscription electronic resources
Survey question 8:
How purchases for other materials have changed as a result of Percentage of
information found on subscription electronic resources (n=267)* respondents
Have spent less on print materials 29.2 (n=78)
Have spent less on other non-subscription electronic resources 44.6 (n=119)
Have spent less on equipment 6.4 (n=17)
Have spent more on other subscription electronic resources 4.1 (n=11)
No change in purchases for other materials 29.2 (n=78)
*Respondents can answer more than one response 303 responses

How Media Specialists Would Spend Extra Money in Budget

Only 7. 1% of elementary media specialists prefer additional SERs if they possessed

extra money in their library media center budgets (Table 4-6). This low percentage

Table 4-6 How media specialists would spend extra money in budget
Table 4-6 How media specialists would spend extra money in
budget Percentage of
Survey question 9: respondents
How media specialists would spend extra money in budget (n=267)
(12 non responses)
Spend more on more or better subscription electronic resources 7.1 (n=19)
Spend more on print materials 62.9 (n=168)
Spend more on other non-subscription electronic resources 10.5 (n=28)
Spend more on media center equipment 22.5 (n=60)

implies that selecting additional SERs is not a priority for most elementary media

specialists. Either SERs are sufficient in library media center collections, or the SERs are

not being utilized effectively therefore limiting their use and need. Print materials

(62.9%) are the preferred response from media specialists for additional materials to be

selected and acquired into library media center collections. Elementary library media

center collections still prioritize the selection of print materials above all other options.

Additionally, 10.5% of the respondents would select and acquire other non-SERs and









22.5% of elementary media specialists would select and acquire more equipment if they

had extra money allocated in their library media center budgets.

Materials Bought or Planned to Buy that Specifically Supplement Subscription
Electronic Resources

A strong maj ority (82.8%) of elementary media specialists do not possess and will

not select materials that specifically supplement the use of SERs in their library media

center collections (Table 4-7). The data reveals that the maj ority of elementary media

specialists do not select print materials that specifically supplement SERs. This also

suggests that the educational use of SERs by teachers and students does not necessarily

coincide with the educational use of print materials in elementary library media centers.

Table 4-7 Materials bought or planned to buy that specifically supplement subscription
electronic resources
Survey question 10:
Materials bought or planned to buy that specifically supplement Percentage of
subscription electronic resources (n=267) respondents
Yes 17.2 (n=46)
No 82.8 (n=221)

Amount of Materials that Have Been Superseded by Superior Information Found in
Subscription Electronic Resources

Only 1 1.9% of elementary media specialists believed that the presence of SERs,

that contain more valid and reliable information, affected removing "many" other

materials in their library media center collections (Brooks, 2001, Heinich et al., 2002,

Sweetland, 2000) (Table 4-8). Elementary media specialists generally do not have to

change many selection practices for other materials based on the presence of SERs found

in library media center collections. A maj ority of 70.0% of respondents report that "a

few" materials have been superseded by superior information found in SERs. Only

18.1% feel that no materials have been superseded by superior information found in

SERs. Consequently, a larger majority of 88.1% including "none" and "a few" materials









have been superseded by information found on SERs and would not a have a maj or

impact on overall selection practices for other materials in the collection.

Table 4-8 Amount of materials that have been superseded by superior information found
in subscription electronic resources
Survey question 11:
Amount of materials that have been superseded by superior Percentage of
information found in subscription electronic resources respondents
(n=243) (24 non responses)
None 18.1 (n=44)
A few materials 70.0 (n=170)
Many materials 11.9 (n=29)

Research Question 2

*To what extent are subscription electronic resources in elementary library media
centers being effectively utilized by teachers and students?

Subscription Electronic Resources Accurately Support School Curriculum

Elementary media specialists believe strongly that SERs accurately support school

curriculum (Table 4-9). A very high percentage (93.9%) of respondents agreed that

SERs accurately support school curriculum and 60.3% believe that SERs do a better than

average job of supporting the school curriculum. Only 6. 1% of those surveyed felt that

SERs do not support school curriculum (Table 4-9). However, in 98.9% of responses, the

Table 4-9 Subscription electronic resources accurately support school curriculum
Survey question 12:
Subscription electronic resources accurately support school
curriculum (n=244) (23 non respondents)
Percentage of responses
(1) Not at all 0.8% (n=2)
(2) 5.3% (n= 13)
(3) Somewhat 33.6% (n=82)
(4) 41.0% (n=100)
(5) Very much so 19.3% (n=47)

data indicates that school districts and not individual media specialists are responsible for

making selection decisions for SERs (Table 4-1). Although media specialists are not









active in selecting SERs for their collections, they feel that the SERs accurately support

school curriculum (AASL/AECT 1988, Prostano & Prostano, 1999).


Teachers Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic Resources

Of media specialists surveyed, 56.6% believe that teachers effectively understand

and use SERs (Table 4-10). However, media specialists do not feel that teachers are

doing a superior job in effectively understanding and using SERs. Only 9.8% believe

that teachers are doing a "better than somewhat" j ob of understanding and using SERs.

Media specialists do not have an overwhelming belief that teachers understand and utilize

SERs very effectively in library media centers as exhibited in the overwhelmingly low

response of 0.4% for the "very much so" category.

Table 4-10 Teachers effectively understanding and using subscription electronic
resources
Survey question 13:
Teachers effectively understanding and using subscription
electronic resources
(n=246) (21 non respondents)
Percentage of responses
(1) Not at all 12.6% (n=31)
(2) 30.9% (n=76)
(3) Somewhat 46.8% (n=115)
(4) 9.4% (n=23)
(5) Very much so 0.4% (n=1)

Students Effectively Understanding and Using Subscription Electronic Resources

Of the surveyed media specialists 66.7% believe that students effectively

understand and use SERs (Table 4-11). However, 33.3% of respondents feel that

students did not effectively understand and use SERs found in library media centers. It is

an interesting phenomenon that when comparing average percentages; elementary media

specialists feel that students understand and use SERs slightly better than teachers do

(Table 4-10). These data suggest that there is much room for improvement for educators









to instruct students on the effective use of educational technology such as SERs in library

media centers.

Table 4-11 Students effectively understanding and using subscription electronic resources
Survey question 14:
Students effectively understanding and using subscription
electronic resources
(n=246) (21 non respondents)
Percentage of responses
(1) Not at all 7.7% (n=19)
(2) 25.6% (n=63)
(3) Somewhat 48.0% (n=118)
(4) 16.3% (n=40)
(5) Very much so 2.4% (n=6)

Media Center Having Computer Technology That Can Access Subscription
Electronic Resources Effectively

Elementary media specialists surveyed revealed that 91.9% of library media centers

possess "somewhat" to "very much so" effective computer technology that can access

subscription electronic resources. Only, 8.1% of those surveyed that possess SERs in

their collections believed that their library media centers do not have adequate computer

technology to access SERs. Therefore, the data suggests that most elementary media

specialists feel their library media centers possess adequate to superior hardware

technology in order to operate SERs. This data implies that computer hardware does not

significantly impede media specialists' selection decisions to add SERs to collections.

Table 4-12 Media center having computer technology that can access subscription
electronic resources effectively
Survey question 15:
Media center having computer technology that can access
subscription electronic resources effectively
(n=247) (20 non respondents)
Percentage of responses
(1) Not at all 1.6% (n=4)
(2) 6.5% (n=16)
(3) Somewhat 19.8% (n=49)
(4) 30.0% (n=74)
(5) Very much so 42.1% (n=104)









Media Center Having the Technology Support for Hardware (Computers) and
Software to Access Subscription Electronic Resources

Of the surveyed media specialists, 87.5% believe that their library media centers

possess the technology support personnel that "somewhat" to "very much so" services the

computers that operate SERs (Table 4-13). Only 12.5% of the respondents feel that they

have inadequate technological support. This data implies that the technical support

personnel in library media centers generally are not a decisive factor in media specialists'

selecting and acquiring SERs to library media center collections.

Table 4-13 Media center having the technology support for hardware (computers) and
software to access subscription electronic resources
Survey question 16:
Media center having the technology support for hardware
(computers) and software to access subscription electronic
resources (n=247) (20 non respondents)
Percentage of responses
(1) Not at all 1.6% (n=4)
(2) 10.9% (n=27)
(3) Somewhat 22.3% (n=55)
(4) 35.2% (n=87)
(5) Very much so 30.0% (n=74)

Summary

Research Question 1

*To what extent does the presence of SERs in elementary library media center
collections effect media specialists' selection decisions?

The data revealed that 88.4% of elementary library media center collections possess

SERs. Of the library media centers that have SERs, 98.9% were selected by school

districts and not individual media specialists. This data indicated that there is little

consensus about whether media specialists believed that SERs were effecting available

money for other materials. The results generally indicated that most media specialists

(71.4%) believe that there is adequate spending on SERs, and 8.4% believed that there is









"better than average" money being spent on SERs in library media center collections.

However, 20.3% felt that there was not sufficient spending for SERs.

With the additional presence of SERs in elementary library media centers, media

specialists have altered the purchases of other materials in collections. The largest group

of respondents (44.6%) has spent less on non SERs in their collections. Another group

(29.2%) of respondents has spent less on print materials, A third group of (29.2%)

believed that SERs had no effect and indicated that there were no changes in material

purchases. A small percentage of respondents (6.4%) believed that media specialists

have spent less on equipment. Only 4. 1% of elementary media specialists' survey felt

that they have spent more on newer SERs due to the information found on previous

SERs.

Although the presence of SERs in elementary media centers has impacted other

materials in collections, significant data was revealed in how elementary media

specialists would spend additional money if provided. The largest percentage (62.9%) of

media specialists believed that they would select and purchase more print materials. The

second largest percentage (22.5%) of media specialists desired to purchase extra

equipment if the resources were available. A smaller percentage (10.5%) of respondents

would like to select and add non-SERs to their collections. However, only 7.1% of

respondents would use extra money selecting and acquiring more or better SERs to

elementary library media center collections.

The data has shown that 82.8% of media specialists do not possess and will not

select and acquire print materials that specifically supplement SERs. Of those

respondents that answered to the amount of materials that have been superseded by










superior information found in SERs 18.1% answered "none". The majority response of

70.0% of elementary media specialists answered that "a few materials" have been

superseded by superior information found on SERs. Only 1 1.9% of the respondents

answered that "many" have been superseded by superior information found on SERs.

Research Question 2

*To what extent are subscription electronic resources in elementary library media
centers being effectively utilized by teachers and students?

In elementary schools, media specialists generally believe that SERs accurately

support school curriculum (Table 4-9). However, elementary media specialists feel that

teachers only somewhat effectively understand and use SERs, and there exists

considerable room for improvement (Table 4-10). Respondents had similar feelings for

students understanding and using SERs, but students have shown slightly higher

percentages than teachers in understanding and utilizing SERs in library media centers

(Table 4-11). Elementary media specialists also believe that there is a high level of

sufficient computer technology hardware to operate SERs (Table 4-12). They also feel

that there is ample technological support available in library media centers to successfully

insure the successful operation of SERs (Table 4-13).















CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This study was designed to determine the extent of which the presence of

subscription electronic resources (SERs) affects the selection of other library media

center materials and to determine if subscription electronic resources are being

effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. This

chapter presents important conclusions and recommendations for future studies drawn

from the data presented in Chapter 4 and a section for other recommendations for further

studies. The conclusions and recommendations for future studies provide summaries for

the two research questions posed in Chapter 1.

Research Question 1

*To what extent does the presence of subscription electronic resources in elementary
library media center collections effect media specialists' selection decisions?

In Research Question 1, media specialists' selection decisions for collection

development determine the materials found in elementary library media centers and

schools. As a result, selection decisions made by media specialists can have an impact on

student learning (Krashen, 2004, Lance 2002). The presence of SERs in library media

center collections creates the potential for significant changes to occur in selection

decisions (Davis, 1997, Evans, 2000, Gregory, 2000, Miller, 2000, Stewart, 2000, Weber,

1999). Due to limited library media program budgets, media specialists' selection

decisions for SERs may affect selection decisions for other materials in elementary media

center collections.









Findings for Research Question 1

The presence of SERs in elementary library media center collections does not have

considerable effects on media specialists' selection decisions in elementary library media

centers. Subscription electronic resources are selected at the school district level and not

by individual media specialists. It is not a priority for media specialists to add additional

SERs with existing SERs in library media center collections. Subscription electronic

resources generally do not have a noteworthy influence on the addition of many materials

specifically designed to supplement the use of SERs in elementary library media centers.

Also, information found in SERs is not considerable enough to supersede many materials

found in elementary library media centers collections.

Research Question 2

*To what extent are subscription electronic resources in elementary library media
centers being effectively utilized by teachers and students?

In the second research question SERs need to follow three criteria posed in chapter

one in order to successfully be utilized by teacher and students in elementary library

media centers. The first criterion is that SERs need to support the school curriculum

(AASL/AECT 1988, Eisenberg & Berkowitz 1988, Evans, 2000, Prostano & Prostano,

1999). The second criterion is that there must be meaningful and effective use of SERs

by teachers and students in library media centers (Dede, 2000, Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson,

1999, Roblyer, 2003, Trotter, 1998). The third criterion is that SERs must possess

adequate technology in terms of both computer hardware and technological support

(Lockard & Abrams, 2004, Picciano, 2006, Trotter, 1999, US Congress, 1995).









Findings for Research Question 2

Subscription electronic resources are effectively utilized by teacher and students,

but not to a great extent. The SERs that are selected at the school district level support

school curriculum very effectively. However, SERs are only marginally used and

understood by teachers and students in elementary library media centers. Elementary

library media centers adequately possess the technological hardware and support

personnel to successfully operate SERs. Therefore, the effective use of SERs is sufficient

for educational operation, but significant opportunity for effective use improvement

exists for teachers and students in elementary library media centers.

Conclusions and Recommendations for Future Studies

In elementary library media centers that possessed SERs, media specialists did not

select SERs to add to collections. Selection decisions for SERs were overwhelmingly

performed at the school district level. This method of selection practice by school

districts over individual media specialists should be examined in order to help determine

if school district selection policies have an impact upon the overall effective utilization of

SERs in elementary library media centers.

Although some of the surveyed elementary media specialists do not feel that

enough money is being spent on SERs, very few of them have spent resources to acquire

more or better SERs. Furthermore, very few elementary media specialists would spend

more on SERs if extra resources were provided. This data indicates that the selection of

SERs is not a selection priority for media specialists in library media center collections.

Elementary media specialists chose the option of more or better SERs last after print

materials, equipment, and other non-subscription electronic resources (non-SERs).

Overall utilization of SERs by teachers and students was adequate, but considerable room









for improvement exists. Therefore, one implication made from the data is that teacher

training programs need to include technology integration of materials such as SERs in

library media centers. Although teachers and students are using SERs in library media

centers, training should be emphasized to improve and focus teaching and learning

strategies that will enhance the effective utilization of SERs.

The extent of SERs having an impact on the selection of other materials in

elementary library media centers was not considerable. Media specialists do not possess

or will not possess materials that specifically supplement SERs. The presence of SERs in

library media center collections does not have a substantial influence on the selection and

acquisition of other materials found in those collections. The information found in SERs

has only a marginal impact upon superseding other materials found in elementary library

media center collections. These implications, coupled with media specialists not actively

selecting SERs, support the notion that SERs are not priority materials that are utilized in

elementary library media centers. It would be advantageous to determine the qualitative

extent of educational value that elementary media specialists place on utilizing SERs.

Although selection decisions for SERs are not made by individual elementary

media specialists, media specialists believe that SERs significantly follow school

curriculum. School districts have succeeded in providing SERs to elementary schools

and that follow the design of school curriculum. However, these SERs may not be

specifically the curricular materials desired by many teachers and this may contribute to

the average understanding and use of SERs by teachers and students in elementary library

media centers. Studies should be conducted that reveal to what extent teachers desire the

SERs found in elementary library media centers.









Media specialists feel that teachers and students only marginally understand and

use SERs in elementary library media centers. They feel that there exists significant

room for teachers and students to improve effective utilization of SERs. Media

specialists perceive students actually as being slightly more adept at understanding and

using SERs in elementary library media centers. A possible reason for these moderate

conclusions of integrating educational technology should be studied through an

explanation and analysis of Rodgers' Diffusion Theory (Rodgers, 1995).

Elementary media specialists consider elementary library media centers to possess

adequate or better computer hardware. They also believe elementary library media

centers have adequate or better access to technology support personnel. However, some

media specialists may see these technological factors as change barriers to effective

utilization of SERs (Ely, 1990). Future studies should be performed to determine to what

extent technological barriers versus other change barriers pose to the successful

technological implementation of SERs in elementary library media centers.

Other Recommendations for Future Studies

This study produced several statements that may be of interest to future researchers,

and the statements are presented below as other recommendations for future studies.

First, results are limited to what extent does the presence of subscription electronic

resources have on media specialists' selection decisions in elementary library media

center collections and to determine to what extent subscription electronic resources are

being effectively utilized by teachers and students in elementary library media centers.

Therefore, results are limited to the K-5 and pre-K-5 elementary school level. Future

research should be conducted to determine selection decision and effective use results at

the middle and high school levels.









Second, selection and utilization of research done in elementary library media

centers should be conducted and correlated with data on the media specialists themselves.

Studies done would be beneficial to determine to what extent the education level or years

of experience of individual media specialists has on the utilizing of educational

technology in library media centers. Research done that focuses on technology

integration in library media program is lacking from the educational field.

Third, it would be beneficial for studies to include successful integration of library

media program educational technology, such as SERs, into elementary school

curriculum. Although much research has been done examining the integration of

educational technology into teaching and learning strategies, studies should be conducted

that reveal media specialists' and teachers' preferences of utilizing various SERs.

Last, it could be beneficial to understand the impact SERs have on specific school

districts' library media center collections. Differences in the location of individual

school districts and resources allocated to those school districts could reveal results that

reveal information on to what extent SERs affect media specialists' selection decisions

and how SERs are utilized by teachers and students. Research done on the variations

between school district criteria and their resources could also expose discrepancies and

inequities of implementing innovative educational technology in library media programs.















APPENDIX A
SPEARMAN' S RANK CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS

Table A-1. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients of interest comparing survey
questions 6, 7, 8, and 9.
Q8A Q8D Q9A Q9B Q9C Q9D
Correlation Q6 0.15761 0.13136 -0.18183
P-Value 0.0114 0.0353 0.0034
14 257 257 257
CorrelationQ07 0.01975 0.02031
P-Value 0.7503 0.7435
N 262 262
Correlation Q8B 0.01559
P-Value 0.7999
14 267
Correlation Q8C 0.00661
P-Value 0.9144
14 267















APPENDIX B
SURVEY









This survey is important because it is designed to determine how
subscription electronic resources in elementary media centers affect
media specialists' selection decisions and their effective usage by
teachers and students. Thank you for your help with this dissertation.

1 How many years have you worked as a media specialist?

2 Are you a certified media specialist in the State of Florida? ( ) Yes ( ) No

3 What is your highest educational degree?
( ) High School ( ) Bachelors ( ) Masters ( ) Doctorate

Subscription electronic resources are programs found on the Internet
that contain specialized educational information and are subscribed to
for a contracted time. Examples of subscription electronic resources
include Grolier Online, Tumblebooks, Net Trekker, and Brain Pop.

4 Do you have subscription electronic resources in your elementary school?
( )Yes ( )No
If you answered no you do not need to answer any more questions. Please follow
directions on the bottom of the next page of this survey to mail back the survey.

5 What funding sources are used to purchase subscription electronic resources in your
media center? Check all that apply. ( ) Media center budget
( ) School district ( ) Outside donations or other school funds not from media center

6 To what degree does paying for subscription electronic resources affect having
money available to purchase materials in your media center?
Not at all Somewhat Very much so
()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5

7 Based on your opinion, how adequate is the funding for subscription electronic
resources in your media center? Check the one that best applies.
( ) 1 Not enough spent on subscription electronic resources
( ) 2 Less spent on subscription electronic resources than should be
( ) 3 Appropriate amount being spent on subscription electronic resources
( ) 4 A little bit more than should be spent on subscription electronic resources
( ) 5 Too much is being spent on subscription electronic resources

8 How has the purchase of other materials in your media center changed as a result of
the information found in your subscription electronic resources? Check all that apply.
( ) have spent less on print materials (books, periodicals, etc.)
( ) have spent less on other non-subscription electronic resources (software, DVD's, etc.)
( ) have spent less on equipment (overheads, computers, etc.)
( ) have spent more on other subscription electronic resources (to complement the use)









9 Based on your opinion, if you had enough extra money in your media center budget
how would you best like to spend it? Check the one that best applies.
( ) Spend more on more or better subscription electronic resources
( ) Spend more on print materials (books, periodicals, etc.)
( ) Spend more on other non-subscription electronic resources (software, DVD's, etc.)
( ) Spend more on media center equipment (overheads, computers, etc.)

10 Have you or do you plan to buy any materials that specifically supplement your
subscription electronic resources? ( ) Yes ( ) No

11 How many materials (print and electronic) in your collection have been superseded
by superior information found in your subscription electronic resources making those
titles irrelevant? ( ) None ( ) A few materials ( ) Many materials

12 To what degree do you feel that your subscription electronic resources accurately
support the curriculum of your school?
Not at all Somewhat Very much so
()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5

13 To what degree do you feel that teachers effectively understand and use the
subscription electronic resources in your media center?
Not at all Somewhat Very much so
()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5

14 To what degree do you feel that students effectively understand and use the
subscription electronic resources in your media center?
Not at all Somewhat Very much so
()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5

15 To what degree does your media center have computer technology that can access
subscription electronic resources effectively?
Not at all Somewhat Very much so
()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5

16 To what degree does your media center have the technology support for the
hardware (computers) and software used to access subscription electronic resources?
Not at all Somewhat Very much so
()1 ()2 ()3 ()4 ()5

Thank you very much for completing this survey! I hope this
information can assist in understanding subscription electronic
resources.














APPENDIX C
COVER LETTER









Seamus Eddy
School of Teaching and Learning
University of Florida
seamuseddy@hotmail. com
352-275-7786



Dear Prospective Participant,


My name is Seamus Eddy and I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida in
the School of Teaching and Learning. I am conducting a research proj ect to examine how
the presence of subscription electronic resources affects media specialists' selection
decisions and how subscription electronic resources are being used by teachers and
students in elementary library media centers.

Please take a few minutes to complete the included survey. Please do not put your name
or any identifying information on the survey and return it by mail with the envelope
provided. All surveys are completely confidential. There is no risk or compensation
involved in this research proj ect. Your participation will contribute to a body of
knowledge that will help media specialists better understand educational technology such
as subscription electronic resources in library media centers. I appreciate your
participation. If you would like more information about this proj ect, please do not
hesitate to contact me.

For questions about your rights as a research participant contact the University of Florida
IRB office at (352) 392-0433.

Supervisor information:
Dr. Jeff Hurt Ph.D.
College of Education
University of Florida
(352) 392-9191, ext.258
jhurt@coe.ufl.edu



Sincerely,


Seamus Eddy
















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54


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Seamus Eddy was born on June 2, 1973 in Larkspur, California. Seamus' family

moved to Stockton, California when Seamus was 5 years old. There Seamus attended

Lincoln High School and the University of the Pacific and graduated with his Bachelor of

Arts degree in economics in 1996.

As Seamus began his career in education, he again attended the University of the

Pacific and graduated with his Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction

in May of 2001. During this time he became a licensed multiple subj ects teacher in the

State of California and taught 5th grade for Stockton Unified School District. In the fall

of 2001, Seamus pursued his interest in the field of Educational Technology and attended

the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. At this time he became a licensed K-12

media specialist in the State of Florida.

In May, 2007, Seamus received a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and

Instruction with an emphasis on educational technology from the School of Teaching and

Learning, College of Education, of the University of Florida. In 2007 Seamus plans to

broaden his education by pursuing an Education Policy and Administration Certificate

from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.