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America's Public School Libraries

Nope. This is not another they're-so-much-better-than-us lamentation that some seem to specialize in. If you must classify this post, think of it as a suggestion for a thesis topic.

NCES 1953-54NCES 1999-2000

The table above is taken from "America's Public School Libraries: 1953–2000." One cannot argue with the numbers—public school libraries in the United States are much better off now than before.

The same, however, cannot be said for public school libraries in the Philippines. Not because our libraries are in worse shape now, but because we don't have data to make such a conclusion. My guess would be that not much has changed in 65 years, but that's just a guess.

And so, if you are a library and information science student looking for a thesis topic, please consider doing something similar to "America's Public School Libraries." The thesis submitted by Concordia Sanchez in 1940 may be used as the starting point, while additional interviews and/or surveys—plus other documents and theses—can provide the end point.

It will be difficult, of course, but if done by a group of students with proper planning, then I think it will be do-able. Having a contact person per region will make data gathering easier. Using SurveyMonkey.com's free online service will make data gathering even more efficient (note: there are limits to number of questions and responses, but surveys can be conducted on a per-region basis to get around the limitations).

Incidentally, SurveyMonkey.com can be used by anyone for just about any kind of survey. Check it out!

Related posts:

The State of Public Schools
The State of Public School Libraries
Basic Education and Corruption
Librarians as Leaders
Hope for Public School Libraries
Public School Libraries

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