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.


Machine-readable bibliographic data; School libraries--Collection development


Library and Information Science


This study developed criteria for choosing bibliographic databases for high school libraries. A survey was conducted to find out students' opinions about the databases that they use in school to access books, periodicals, and newspaper articles. The survey covered frequency of database use, favorite and least favorite databases, reasons for using the databases, desirable and undesirable characteristics of databases, and types of searching that were used. The survey was administered to 85 students in four 11th grade college-preparatory English classes after a class period devoted to database searching for an assignment. All students completed and handed in the survey. Conclusions were made based on the percentages of students who answered each part of a question. Students were observed during the time that they used the databases to determine motivation level, frustration, staying on task, and length of time spent searching. Most students (71 out of 85) use the databases fewer than five times a month. Students liked databases that contain full-text articles, are easy to navigate, provide quality results, and work quickly. Those characteristics were incorporated with others to develop a list of criteria for educators to use when choosing databases for high school libraries.