International Association
of School Librarianship

IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 133

Findings: High school students choose to sit at reading tables, prefer central location for their seating, and come to the library study. Arrangements of subspaces within the library, based on the study's findings, will attract students to the library and provide for the students' need for a place for both study and free time activities.

Abstract: A study of libraries' physical conditions and their users' behavior was conducted in four high school libraries in Israel. The research questions were: (1) What is the connection between the physical conditions in the library and the concentrations of students in it and the choice of seating location; and (2) What characteristics of territorial behavior are connected to the physical layout of the library? Data collection included observation of 1222 students, interviews with all of the libraries' staff and with 20 students, and completion of 394 questionnaires by students while they were in the library. Over half of the students who were observed in the libraries chose to sit in the area of the reading tables and 17% settled in the armchair area. Special attention was paid to the first 15 students who entered each library on each observation day because they had maximum choice in their selection of seating. Of the 170 students who were first to enter a library, close to two-thirds chose to sit in a central location exposed to "neighbors" and "passersby," and about one-third chose tables in the corners of the library. About two-thirds of the students stated they came to the library to study; about one-third stated they came to talk with friends. Although conditions of quiet were important for the library's functioning, adolescents and adults defined "quiet" differently. Arrangements of subspaces within the library, based on the study's findings, will attract students to the library and provide for the students' need for a place for both study and free time activities. See:

Snunith, S. & Shemer-Shalman, Z. (2003). Territorial behavior in the school library. School Libraries Worldwide, 9 (2), 1-24.

Subject Categories: 7


© International Association of School Librarianship
Data Protection Policy 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software