Using Action Research to Seek the Unknown (Summer 2013)

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In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, school librarian Courtney Lewis explains how she used action research to determine the recreational reading habits of teens. In her article, Courtney notes that Jody K. Howard and Su A Eckhardt in their book Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists describe action research this way:

“…rather than designing a complex survey, accounting for a million variables and using statistical software, a librarian instead relies on her expertise and that of her colleagues to design an instrument which collects quantitative and qualitative data that will help give a comprehensive snapshot of a specific environment and help determine a course of action, preferably with data that can be shared with co-workers.

Fortunately, Courtney is willing to let others learn from the work that she’s done. You can view her original survey results and find out what Courtney learned:

And, you can also view Courtney’s latest survey which she updated to take into account tablets and the ever-growing world of device-based reading, information seeking, etc.:

As Courtney writes in her article, you too can use action research to “figure out what you know – really know – and maybe what you need to know from your patrons…” about their reading interests. It’s the perfect activity as you get ready for Teen Read Week 2013 celebrations.

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