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This study assesses students’ use of library and ways of improving the use of library by the school’s management. The population of St Paul’s international primary and secondary school was 1,304. A total proportional sample of 391 was used for the study. The instruments adopted for this study included questionnaires, observations and a reading profile register. The hypotheses of the research were tested via well-structured questionnaires that were served on the students and a reading profile register to determine the frequency of their visits to the library, to observe the type of materials or text they read and how such impacted on their performance. The instruments of this study were assessed on their face validity under the strict guidance of an expert. To determine the reliability, KR2 formula was used to calculate the reliability estimate, which yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.72. The data collected were analyzed in relation to their performance in a recent examination under reading comprehension. Two hypotheses were accepted, which implied that frequent, as well as occasional visits to the library for free extensive reading enhance reading comprehension performance. The third hypothesis showed that non-visit to the library for free extensive reading had a negative effect on the students’ comprehension performance. This hypothesis was therefore rejected. The major findings in this study showed that non-visits to the library for free extensive reading had a negative effect on the students’ comprehension performance. This hypothesis was therefore rejected. The major findings in this study showed that, effective patronage of the library for extensive reading had the potential of developing and enhancing comprehension performance of students. Negative attitudes towards use of library, on the other hand, inhabited performance. There was therefore a dire need to re-equip, enrich and improve college libraries with modern facilities for better service delivery. Orientation campaign effort should also be mounted for the benefit of the students toward the value and importance of the use of the college libraries. Teachers should as well encourage students through assignments to patronize such libraries so as to derive maximum benefit from them which could enrich their schemata to confront varied reading comprehension texts with ease.
The school teacher librarian should mobilize effort and mount campaign programs that would improve the image of the library, Sir up the reading interest in students that concomitantly draws attention to the library.
According to Amadi in his course; Audio visual resources in the libraries, children teens and adolescents, have attaint for what they see.
Onu quips that teens and children love esthetics, with these, the library staff should improve the library in the following areas:
I. Erect attractive building for libraries with good architectural designs-in and out of the library.
II. Organize readership programs
II. Acquire books and other materials that benefits students
IV. Acquire audio-visual materials that appeal to the students.
1.1 HISTORICAL ANTECEDENT OF THE CASE STUDY
St Paul’s international primary and secondary school was founded over even years ago and kicked off within the church premises of St Paul’s catholic church. It later was relocated to its permanent site at Ikenegbu layout. It has over three to four thousand students population and a hand full of staff.
The school is located currently in Ikenegbu layout at Chukwu Nwaoha Street.
St. Paul’s international secondary school is a mission school. That is, it is owned by the St. Paul’s Catholic Church, located along Douglas, Owerri Imo state.
The school is bent on providing quality education not divide of morality.
St. Paul’s International Secondary school occupied a large expanse of land. It has
I. A three in one class halls
2 Four long class halls
3 A dormitory
IV. A football pitch
4 An ICT centre
5 A chapel etc
NATURE OF ACADEMIC PROGRAM
The school runs the day and boarding systems.
St Pual’s international secondary school is among the school with a school library its establishment was in tandem with the school. It occupies two (2) large block halls with seating capacity of up to seventy (70) each.
The library has rich resources in the following areas:
I. Subject collections
II. Litrary collections like drama, prose, fictions
III. Reference collections, like dictionary
IV. Religion collections order of worship
It is manned by two staff, of which one is the library attendant. Though, all the teachers are working towards the functional growth and success of the library.
According to the vice principle and Dean, the library is currently undergoing renovation. Very soon, it would be revealed to another purpose building.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The library is user-oriented. This accounts its crude from time to time, to gain more patronage. The existing school libraries are not explored by the students, as have observed it stems from the fact that the user community has not yet under seared the import of library in educational development. Most times the attitude of the school authorities, the low reading culture evident in all and sundry of the country. Contribute to lack of use of library stock.
It is not out of places for a student to finish primary and secondary education without knowing what the library is, ats location it is in view of this that the research ways of improving the use of school library is proposed.
1.3 Research Objectives
This study was basically expected to achieve the following objectives:
1. To identify ways of improving the use of library by students
i. To assess whether the improved use of library by students of St Pual’s international secondary school enhanced their performance in reading comprehension.
ii. To determine whether non use of the library by students of St Pual’s international secondary school affected their reading comprehension skills.
1.4 Research Questions:
1. What are the ways of improving the use of library by students?
i. Did the improved use of library by students of St Pual’s international secondary school enhance their performances in reading comprehension?
ii. Did students of St Pual’s international secondary school that never visited the library perform well in reading comprehension?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
i. There was no significant relationship between the improved use of the library by students of St Pual’s international secondary school and their reading comprehension performances.
ii. There was no significant relationship between the occasional use of the library by students of St Pual’s international secondary school and their reading comprehension performances.
iii. There was no significant relationship between the non-use of the library by students of St Pual’s international secondary school and their reading comprehension performances.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study was significant because effective reading remains the most important basic skill that ensures comprehension of a text. However it is an area that poses a lot of challenges to teachers and students. For example, there was a lingering debate over the years amongst the teachers of the school under study St Pual’s international secondary school in the quest for the best way to improve reading comprehension for optimal results. One group of such teachers strongly held the view that extensive reading of varied materials by students from their respective secondary school libraries would ultimately equip the students with a vast background knowledge and experience, rich enough to confront varied reading comprehension texts with ease. The second group however disagreed and argued that the language competence of the students was enough to bring about the desired results. Yet a third group advocated for a combination of the two approaches to reading comprehension for the accomplishment of the desired results. The findings at the end of this study were therefore expected to provide data that could shed more light on the most effective ways of improving reading comprehension. This argument became relevant as a result of students‟ poor performance in previous examinations in the school under study. Similarly, the overwhelming outcry and concern by WAEC officials, school authorities and parents over recent mass failure of candidates especially in the reading comprehension aspect of the English Language paper was brought to limelight. These stakeholders blamed students for their lukewarm attitude towards reading generally. This study therefore came out with data that clarified the various assumptions. In the same vein, curriculum developers, teachers, students and other stakeholders would find this study useful by recognizing and appreciating the positive impact or otherwise of extensive reading in improving reading comprehension performance among students by equipping them with a rich background experience. This would further re-focus on the role and significance of secondary school libraries as engine-rooms for educational development in our tertiary schools. There is that dire need to revitalize our secondary school libraries for better patronage and more efficient and effective service delivery. The current trend should change where most students see the library as only a convenient place to read their lecture notes at the approach of examinations.
Similarly, the secondary school authorities of the respective school in this study would be guided by the findings of this study to re-equip their respective libraries with current and relevant reading materials. This would again facilitate greater patronage of their libraries by the students.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focused on the improvement of the use of libraries by students of St Pual’s international secondary school. The choice of this aspect of reading was informed by the general controversy in the school as to whether the students‟ use of the secondary school libraries for extensive reading purposes impacted positively on their reading comprehension performance or not.
Similarly, the choice of these school was based on the fact that the Improved Level students of the school under study became a target for the study because GNS101, items 5.l to 5.6 of their syllabus reflect Literature in English. Effective reading for optimal comprehension of texts had posed a great challenge to most of our tertiary schools. This was evident from the new trend where most students shun away from their respective secondary school libraries for extensive reading the could broaden their horizons. This study therefore laid emphasis on extensive reading from the secondary school libraries and assessed the impact on the reading comprehension performance of the students of the school under study.
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