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A comparison of user perceptions with official standards for elementary school libraries in Taiwan, Republic of China

Huoy-Jia Tzeng, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study is concerned with the attitudes and perceptions of the current elementary school library media centers in Taiwan, Republic of China. Elementary school students, principals, library staff, and prospective elementary school teachers in teacher colleges were interviewed and surveyed. Dissatisfaction about the physical layout, the collections, the user/circulation service, and the personnel of elementary school libraries was reported by the four targeted groups. Responses to this investigator's field studies and surveys were compared with the recommendations suggested in the Chinese standards of practice: Elementary School Facilities Standards (Ministry of Education, Taiwan, 1981), and the most updated American standards: Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs (AASL, 1988). Literature that studied cases in Taiwan, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States was reviewed to provide reference and support for this study. The results of the study indicate that, in most cases, elementary classroom teachers in Taiwan are assigned the responsibility for library operation, in addition to their major teaching responsibility, despite the fact that few had any library training prior to this assignment. The finding suggests that Taiwan has not yet concluded that the library and librarians are an important adjunct of the learning process. That prospective teachers should receive adequate library training in their preparation program, as other surveys had suggested, was also affirmed by this study. Library training for prospective teachers can help them not only to possess the necessary background to help their future students but also to help themselves, as prospective teachers, become better (and more capable) library users. The study recommends the revision, updating, and reinforcement of the Chinese elementary school library standards. Programs should be established to train and certify people who are interested in working at elementary school libraries. A technical service center should be established so that direct contacts with users by library staff can be their primary concern.

Subject Area

Library science|Elementary education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Tzeng, Huoy-Jia, "A comparison of user perceptions with official standards for elementary school libraries in Taiwan, Republic of China" (1990). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9110224.