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What's Expected, What's Required, and What's Measured

Title: What's Expected, What's Required, and What's Measured: A Comparative Qualitative Content Analysis of the National Professional Standards for School Librarians, and Their Job Descriptions and Performance Evaluations in Florida.
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Name(s): Elkins, Aaron J., author
Mardis, Marcia A., professor directing dissertation
Woods, Juliann, university representative
Kazmer, Michelle, committee member
Latham, Don, committee member
School of Library and Information Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: School librarians' essential function of providing access to information, and instruction and guidance in its evaluation, use, production, and communication has endured over a century of change in education, technology, and society's access to and use of information. What has changed is how school librarians perform their roles. As the rate of technological change has accelerated, perceptions of school librarians' roles have not always kept pace. School librarians may base their role perceptions on documentary sources, including professional standards, job descriptions, and performance evaluations. School administrators may have different perceptions of school librarians' roles, based on their past experiences with school librarians. When expected, perceived, and enacted roles differ, school librarians may experience role ambiguity and conflict. With the number of school librarians in decline, those who remain may experience job insecurity. Feelings of job insecurity combined with the pressure on schools to achieve more with fewer resources may cause school librarians to increase their role performance and experience role overload. This research was designed to analyze how the roles of school librarians were represented in the performance expectations in the professional standards found in Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs as compared to the performance expectations found in the job descriptions of school librarians in Florida, to determine what kinds of role performance were expected of school librarians in Florida that were not represented in the professional standards, and to determine to what extent the performance expectations on Florida's school librarians' job descriptions compared to the performance measures on their performance evaluations. The researcher used qualitative content analysis to compared performance expectations from school librarians' professional standards to those in their job descriptions. Performance expectations on the job description that were not represented in the professional standards were open coded and categorized. The researcher used qualitative content analysis to compare the performance expectations on school librarians' job descriptions and the performance measures on their performance evaluations. The researcher found that while performance expectations from all of the roles and guidelines in the professional standards were represented in Florida's school librarians' job descriptions, the most frequently represented role was that of Instructional Partner, and the most frequently represented guideline was Collection and Information Access; the former speaks to the future of the profession, while the latter represents its past. Not all types of role performance expected of school librarians in Florida were represented in the professional standards. Of the open coded performance expectations, those related to Library Operations and Services were the most frequently represented. The analysis of agreement between school librarians' job descriptions and performance evaluations found that many of the evaluations had low rates of agreement with their corresponding job descriptions. The researcher discovered half of Florida's school districts are using instruments designed for instructional personnel or support staff to assess school librarians' performance, instead of differentiated evaluations designed specifically for school librarians; nearly all of these instructional personnel or support staff evaluations had low rates of agreement with their corresponding job description. The researcher also found that when the performance evaluation was newer and the job description was older, the evaluations tended to have lower rates of agreement. A few performance evaluations had a greater number of performance measures than the job description had performance expectations; these evaluations tended to have lower rates of agreement. The researcher proposed that school district officials may wish to implement several practices regarding job descriptions and performance evaluations, including establishing a revision cycle, where these documents are periodically reviewed and updated; changing revision practices, so that when either a job description or performance evaluation is updated, the other document is reviewed as well; and to ensure that there is a balance between the number of performance expectations and performance measures on the two documents. This study fills a gap in the research about school librarians' roles and performance evaluation, and creates a foundation for further research.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-8978 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Information in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: June 23, 2014.
Keywords: Job Descriptions, Performance Evaluations, Professional Standards, Qualitative Content Analysis, School Librarians
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Marcia A. Mardis, Professor Directing Dissertation; Juliann Woods, University Representative; Michelle Kazmer, Committee Member; Don Latham, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Library science
Information science
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-8978
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Elkins, A. J. (2014). What's Expected, What's Required, and What's Measured: A Comparative Qualitative Content Analysis of the National Professional Standards for School Librarians, and Their Job Descriptions and Performance Evaluations in Florida. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-8978