Case Study Project|
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate my understanding of the principles for effective library media centers as identified in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning1 and to relate those principles to the functions and services in an actual library media center.
Waipahu Intermediate School (WIS) is located at 94-455 Farrington Highway, in Waipahu, Hawaii. Established in September 1966, WIS was intended to accommodate students in grades 7 and 8.2 At the time, the WIS enrollment was 660 students. In 1967, the addition of ninth graders increased the school's enrollment to 1000. Waipahu High School and Waipahu Intermediate School exchanged campuses in 1969. The reason for the exchange was not stated. Finally, in 1972, Waipahu High School became a four-year high school again, leaving WIS with grades 7 and 8.
Today, the WIS enrollment is approximately 1200 students.3 The ethnicity of Waipahu Intermediate's student population is predominantly Filipino (53.4%) with Samoan and Part-Hawaiian students comprising the next largest group at 22.6% of the total.4 The number of students receiving English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction has steadily increased from 144 students (11.6%) in 1996 to 176 (15%) in 1999.5 Approximately, 50% of the school's ESL students speak Ilokano or another Filipino dialect, another 25% speak Samoan and approximately 12.5% speak Marshallese.
Twelve percent of Waipahu Intermediate's students were eligible for Special Education (SPED) services during the 1999-2000 school year.6 The majority of students (51%) receiving SPED services were identified as having specific learning disabilities. Students with emotional impairments were the next largest group at 10%. Sixty percent of SPED students participated in Integrated Self-Contained individualized education programs.
Waipahu Intermediate School is comprised of five two-story buildings (which house fifty-five classrooms), four portable classrooms, and a single story building (housing fifteen classrooms for Basic Practical Arts shops, Fine Arts classes, Health and Physical Education classes, and Special Needs Classes). Other facilities include the cafeteria, the administration building, the library, and the play court. The administrative staff at WIS includes a principal and two vice principals. The WIS teaching staff consists of sixty-eight full-time teachers (41.5 Regular Education, 12 Special Education, and 14.5 Supplemental Instruction).7
The Waipahu community is made up of residences, small businesses, and light industry.8 The Waipahu School Complex includes five elementary schools, an intermediate school, a high school, and an adult community school. Four of the five elementary schools and Waipahu Intermediate qualify for school-wide Title I project funds. As was mentioned previously, Waipahu Intermediate School is located on the former Waipahu High School site and occupies approximately thirty-one acres of land.
Many of the residences closest to WIS are made up of low-income apartments and plantation era housing. The $11,848 per capita income for Waipahu residents is lower than the State's average of $15,770.9 Not surprisingly, the percentage of Waipahu households qualifying for Public Assistance income was 14.2%, which is double the State's average of 6.8%. The percentage of "at risk" children (4-19 years old) at Waipahu was unusually high at 23%. The statewide percentage is 2.1%. 1990 Census data indicated that approximately 72.7% of Waipahu adults possessed a high school or post high school education, with just 9.8% having graduated from college.10
Waipahu Intermediate School's educational priorities include providing Hawaii Content and Performance Standards (HCPS II) training for its teaching staff and improving students' reading scores on the New Standards Reference Examination (NSRE).11 Two of the areas described in the school's plan to improve NSRE reading scores included promoting reading literacy and improving students' reading comprehension.
Library Media Center Profile
Waipahu Intermediate's school library media center is staffed by two full-time certified school librarians (the head librarian and the technology librarian), one full-time LAN coordinator, one Accelerated Reader (AR) part-time teacher (PTT), one full-time library assistant (LA), and one adult volunteer. Waipahu Intermediate also employs a technology coordinator; however, her computer lab is located in another building.
As of October 2002, the media center's collection included approximately 14,000 printed volumes, 50 CD ROMs, and 300 videotapes. The media program's budget for the 2002-2003 school year was $27,000, and could be broken down into three main categories: $13,900 for books, $13,000 for technology, and $6,000 for audio visual equipment/supplies. As such, Waipahu Intermediate School spends close to twenty-three dollars per student on library and information services. This budget estimate does not include another $50,000 in grant money the library also received last year.
In November of 2001, Waipahu Intermediate School developed a Library Standards Implementation Action Plan.12 In its proposal, WIS planned to increase the size of its print collection by 700 new books per year. The goal of this proposal was to bring the library's collection in line with the minimum standard established by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Hawaii State Guidelines for School Library Instructional Technology Centers, which recommends school libraries have at least twenty volumes per student. At the time of the proposal, it was estimated that the library would need to acquire about 10,000 new books to be in compliance with the AASL standard.
The Library Standards Implementation Action Plan also described securing assistance from the AR PTT to support the school's standards implementation plan through the AR Program. The AR PTT was expected to assist with improving reading comprehension, apply Master Reading Strategies for low readers, and other various circulation duties.13 Thus, the two library proposals appeared to support the school's literacy concerns to improve students' NSRE reading scores through reading literacy promotion and improved reading comprehension.
My data collection was conducted through interviews with both library media specialists at Waipahu Intermediate School. My interview with the technology librarian was informal and conversational, whereas my interview with the head librarian was more formal and addressed the questions developed in class for the case study assignment. The interviews were conducted after school, on two different days for a total of approximately five hours. Many of the documents presented in my case study were provided by the head librarian at Waipahu Intermediate School. Additional information was obtained through the WIS website, the Hawaii Department of Education website, and the School Library Services website. Scheduling of interviews was conducted via email.
I would like to thank the school library media specialists at Waipahu Intermediate School for their time and for helping me to fulfill the requirements of this case study assignment. I realize they were very busy and that it is not easy to have a stranger come into one's workplace, asking a bunch of questions that may be perceived as being somewhat evaluative and critical. Although two days of interviewing was insufficient for developing rapport with both media specialists, I hope I was able to convey an objective and non-evaluative attitude during my case study observations. I also hope they will be willing to work with other Library and Information Science students in the future because the technology focus of their media program and the support they generate from school administrators and the faculty makes WIS an excellent site to observe some of the best practices of school librarianship.
I would also like to thank Dr. Harada for her guidance and support throughout the
completion of this effort.