Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship


Special Educational Services/Instruction


College of Education


Willett, Holly G.


Computers; Instructional materials centers


Library and Information Science


This study explored the ways students from study halls used computers in a media center at 22 student workstations. A shift toward use of computers and electronic resources for recreation and for research had been observed. A study was initiated to determine what students accomplish during these periods and if their use benefited learning.

The first research method employed was a direct observation of 1264 students visiting the media center during 64 different periods over a three-week time period. Students were observed and the kinds of applications used were counted. In a second method, ninety-seven students from across the school's population completed a questionnaire. Questions focused on student choice of computer applications and the satisfaction of their experience.

Of the 694 students observed using computers, 67% browsed the web and 10% were using the web for research. Sixty-four percent of the 97 students reported that their computer use satisfied some research need, supported some learning in a subject, enhanced learning in some way, and were interested in learning more using a computer. These numbers are indicative of the lure and appeal computers hold for youth. This study reinforces the need for innovative measures to maximize learning as an educational goal of computer use.