, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 85–91 | Cite as

Libraries in Online Elementary Schools: A Mixed-Methods Study

  • Laura HibbardEmail author
  • Teresa Franklin


School libraries serve an important role; however, elementary students who attend schools online typically do not have a school library. This study followed an online school’s inaugural year in instituting a library. A mixed methods approach examined data from focus groups, interviews, surveys, library-use records and oral reading fluency scores. Stakeholders had various goals from “to get books into the hands of the students” to teachers requesting that Library be a special class to encourage reluctant readers to access the resources. It was found that students who accessed the libraries most were those who were already motivated readers. The findings suggest that access to libraries alone was not enough to motivate students to use the resources. Rather, to empower students to access libraries, a librarian is needed to serve as an instructional partner, an information specialist, a teacher and a program administrator.


distance learning economically disadvantaged elementary library online education reading school libraries virtual schools 


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio UniversityAthensUSA

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