The Influence of School Libraries on Performance in the English Subject in Public Secondary Schools in Homa Bay District, Kenya
Ojijo, Agnes A
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The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of school libraries on English performance in public secondary schools in Homa Bay district through examination of the adequacy of provision of library services and the extent to which school libraries influence students' performance in English comprehension, grammar, literature and composition. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and targeted 49 teachers of English, 2,298 Form Four students and 35 librarians in all the 35 public secondary schools in Homa Bay district. Data were collected using questionnaires, an interview schedule and an observation schedule. Data were analysed using statistical analysis for closed-ended items and descriptive statistics for closed-ended items. The findings presented in frequency and percentage tables, pie-charts and histograms. On the provision of library services in public secondary schools, the study revealed that quite a number of public secondary schools in the district lack school libraries and that in schools with libraries, the libraries are ill equipped and lack enough space which limits students' access to study materials. It was further revealed that majority of school librarians have not been trained with most of them being teachers who double as librarians. The study also revealed that most teachers of English were not involved in the procurement of English materials. it was further revealed that a higher number of students were not utilising libraries to the maximum. The study further revealed that students in public secondary schools in Homa Bay district have difficulties in English comprehension, English composition, English grammar and English literature and that performance in these areas can be enhanced through utilisation of libraries, The study concluded that the provision of library services in most public secondary schools in Homa Bay district was found to be inadequate. This was due to the fact that most schools lack buildings set aside as school libraries, lack of enough space in school libraries which are also poorly equipped and poor utilisation of school libraries by students, The findings found a close link between school libraries and performance in the three sections of the integrated English namely; English composition, grammar, comprehension and Iiterature. The study recommended that schools should employ trained school librarians as - well as schools ensuring that students who lose books are made to replace them immediately and those staying with borrowed books beyond the stipulated time be fined. It was also recommended that schools and other stakeholders should ensure that spacious libraries an~ constructed in schools and that teachers should allocate more time to students for library use. The school administrations were required to regularly renovate existing library facilities to make them more suitable for use. It was also recommended that school administrations, teachers and librarians should sensitise students on school library rules and appoint more library prefects in order to ensure that operations in school libraries are satisfactory in giving the best service to students thus enhancing English performance. This study was delimited by being restricted to public secondary schools in Homa Bay district leaving out private schools therefore a similar study should be carried out involving these schools. The study also only focused on the influence of school libraries on English performance. Another study should therefore be conducted examining other factors influencing English performance. A similar study should also be carried out involving public secondary schools in other districts or areas in the country.
university of nairobi