This is what I found:
- 64% of students do not check out books from the school library
- 72% use the library's web page "rarely" or "almost never"
- the top 4 reasons for visiting the school library are: printing, photocopying, using a laptop, and working on homework
- the 2 least common reasons for visiting the library are to check out recreational reading material and to ask the Librarian for help
- only 38% of students say they use the library for their history classes, only 18% for science, only 6% for fine arts
- 32% say there are no books in the library that they want to check out
- 51% buy the books they want to read from a physical bookstore
- 34% spend ZERO time each week reading for pleasure
- students prefer to read romance, mystery, and realistic fiction
- 61% do not use a public library
- 85% turn to Google first when conducting any kind of academic research
So, there you have it. A VERY different scenario from my previous library setting, where tons of kids read avidly, almost no kids could purchase their own books (there is not a single bookstore in that part of South Central), and the Librarian was the first source of information for research.
I suppose I didn't really use my high school library for much either. It was pretty outdated, and I don't have any memory of the Librarian, so I don't think she was a very dynamic member of the school community. I got my books from my parents or the public library. Perhaps I don't need to lament the low circulation here. Perhaps I should focus my attentions on the research skills the girls are lacking and the need to get them college-ready in terms of seeking information. If course, I want to cry when I hear that so many of them spend no time at all reading for pleasure. That, to me, is sad. That I want to change.
Next up, surveying the teachers. I am very curious about those results.