Title

The Role of the School Library Media Specialist As Perceived By Selected Mississippi Principals, Classroom Teachers, School Library Media Specialists, and Library Media Educators

Date of Award

1989

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Arthur R. Southerland

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The role of the school library media specialist has changed over the last 20 years as a result of emerging technologies and changes in educational practice. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were differences in the perception of this changed role according to the degree level, school level, or years of educational work experience of the four educator groups: principals, classroom teachers, school library media specialists, and library media educators. A related question examined was whether classroom teachers' expectations of the school library media specialist's role were related to the teachers' use of the media program. A sample of 260 educators from a Mississippi public school district and 20 library media educators from Mississippi institutions of higher learning was drawn. Data collection was accomplished through a mailed questionnaire. To determine significant differences among the educator groups in role perception of the school library media specialist, one-way analysis of variance was used. To test for a relationship between classroom teachers' expectations for the school library media specialist's role and teachers' use of the media program, a Pearson product-moment correlation was calculated. Of the five hypotheses tested, two were accepted and three were rejected. Major findings of the study were: (1) There was not a significant difference among principals, classroom teachers, school library media specialists, and library media educators on the dependent variable of role perception of the school library media specialist. (2) There was not a significant difference in the perceived role of the school library media specialist among educators of differing years of educational work experience, school level, or degree level. (3) There was a positive, moderate relationship between classroom teachers' perception of the school library media specialist's role and teachers' use of the media program.