ERIC Number: ED422003
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Perceptions of New Library Media Specialists about Orientation and Professional Support Programs.
Buddy, Juanita Warren
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of new library media specialists about the usefulness of orientation and professional support programs occurring within the first two years of employment. A 56-item questionnaire with rating scales and open-ended questions was designed to answer five research questions: (1) "What factors, related to personnel and time frame, were involved in the orientation program?" (2) "What topics/activities presented in the orientation program did new library media specialists perceive as useful?" (3) "Who provided professional support to new library media specialists?""What were the frequencies of contact and quality of the support?" (4) "Which informational resources were helpful to new library media specialists in fulfilling their responsibilities?" and (5) "Who encouraged or invited new library media specialists to participate in professional development activities?""How helpful were these activities to new library media specialists?" The questionnaire was sent to 48 pre-selected library media specialists with two or fewer years of experience. Eight schools systems in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area were selected. Data from 38 usable questionnaires revealed 70.1% of the respondents participated in orientation programs lasting one to three days. Programs were generally conducted by the system-level media coordinator. Most topics/activities were rated useful by the participants. Two topics/activities related to monitoring and information literacy skills instructional units were ranked lowest as useful. Individuals in the school system frequently provided superior to satisfactory support to new library media specialists, when compared to specific groups of professionals outside of the school system. Outdated book collections and audiovisual equipment were major problems encountered by respondents. Most locally-developed informational resources, professional journals and magazines were rated helpful. Appendices include the cover letter and questionnaire, sample quotations representing initial problems new library specialists encountered, and comments or "words of wisdom." (AEF)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Education Specialist in Library Media Technology, Georgia State University.