Action research is defined as "any systematic inquiry conducted by teacher researchers, principals, school counselors, or other stakeholders in the teaching/learning environment to gather information about how their particular schools operate, how they teach, and how well their students learn." Chapters take the reader through the process of selecting an action research topic; assessing the library, school, and community; collecting, organizing, and interpreting data; and sharing the results. A works cited list, glossary, and index round out the book. Although many librarians informally measure the effectiveness of their library programs, this more formalized approach fits the current accountability climate by providing hard data to back requests and plans. This is a solid, basic overview to help librarians document how they help students succeed. Esther SinofskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"This book is about how to systematically create the plan that will have your colleagues in your state organization inviting you to speak to them about your wonderful library program. Action research is 'a reflective method of problem solving where the researcher develops specific solutions to specific problems.' Jody Howard and Su Eckhardt guide readers through creating that wonderful program, from the time we are vaguely aware that maybe there might be a better way, to defining the problem, to researching possible solutions, to selling the change to other stakeholders, to evaluating the change. In a few pages they manage to give some concrete examples, in the form of a fictional librarian and her situation. There are sample questions to get the reader thinking in the proper direction. Appendices contain contact information for journals; a sample project for publication; Web resources for action research; and recommended references. Most media specialists know that there is room for improvement in our programs, but we often don't have the time to dig out hundreds of possible improvements, sift through them, and find the one or two that actually work. By setting up a reflective model, Howard and Eckhardt have shown readers how even a one-person library can plan and carry out research-based improvement. Glossary. Index. Recommended."
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