Date Approved

7-8-2002

Embargo Period

5-11-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Willett, Holly

Subject(s)

Information literacy; Public librarians

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

To determine the public librarian's role in teaching information literacy, this study was designed to evaluate library skills of the adult population in Cumberland County, New Jersey. Two separate surveys consisting of matrix and open-ended questions were sent to reference librarians employed in public libraries within the county and to 380 adult residents. Ten out of 18 librarians participated. One hundred and eighty-five resident surveys were returned. Sixty-seven participants were library users.

The research revealed there is a need for library instruction but patrons may not be interested in attending formal instruction at their public libraries. Twenty-one percent of adults surveyed stated they would attend classes, 48% stated they would not attend, and 31% were not sure. The librarians believed that instruction on utilizing all the resources found within the library would benefit their patrons; however, librarians responded that most patrons would not attend classes. Fifty percent of the librarians surveyed believed that patrons would not participate in formal instruction, 40% were undecided, and 10% did not respond to the question.

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