Creating a Generation of Library Users

This is the second to last time I will be blogging about the Erie Elementary Feeder System statistics.  I started following these 272 students in the fall of 2010.  I have gotten to know each student by their book choices.  You may find this difficult to believe, but it will be hard to say goodbye.

When Red Hawk Elementary opened without the Dewey Decimal System, one of the criticisms was that the students would have a difficult time adjusting to a library still using that antiquated system. My statistics have shown that is not the case.  Students who attended Red Hawk,  have consistently checked out more nonfiction books than fiction.  During this past quarter, 60% of all books checked out by former Red Hawk students were nonfiction. They checked out books in 9 out of 10 nonfiction categories. (They passed on the religion section).  The non fiction sections most frequented by these students were the Paranormal, Animals, technology and Art/Graphic novel sections. The top fiction categories were Fantasy, Historical Fiction,  and Realistic Fiction.  Red Hawk students checked out an average of 6.5 books per student.

Erie Elementary students selected non fiction books from the Animal and Graphic novels collection on a consistent basis with only a small percentage in some of the other nonfiction categories. Mysteries and Realistic Fiction were the most popular fiction genres during this quarter. 54% of books checked out were fiction by these students.  Erie students checked out an average of 4.18 books per student.

Black Rock Elementary students favorite non fiction book choices were  the Guinness Book of World Records (this was the only title checked out in that Dewey category), Sports and Animal books.  Black Rock students continued their pattern on choosing fiction over nonfiction. 60 % of all books checked out were fiction.  The top genres were Fantasy and Realistic fiction. Black Rock students checked out an average of 5.35 books per student.

Middle school library usage is a new world for 6th graders. They do not visit the library as a class every week. Books are checked out for longer time periods.  Students literary needs change.  The number of books checked out in the Realistic genre is evidence of that.  The data shows that Red Hawk students still have a desire to learn about their world and have learned to navigate the classification system in use at this middle school to continue their information journey.  It will be interesting to see how their choices change or if they do when this library uses the BCS as well.


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