This descriptive study concerns the development of boys' secondary school
libraries in Saudi Arabia into centres for learning in the light of school library media
centres in developed countries. Saudi Arabia recognises the importance of developing
the learning environment and adopting modern concepts of learning. Teaching the
`Library and Research' instruction, the Schools' Net Project and the Learning
Resource Centres Project are evidence of concern with facilitating learning through
resource-based school libraries.
In order to obtain information about the current situation of school libraries,
questionnaires were distributed to schools and to administrative area managers. The
overall response rate was 41.6 and 69.2% respectively. The survey results showed that
school libraries generally are poor and school librarians neither skilled nor trained.
School libraries generally have poor collections, an absence of full-time qualified
librarians, a lack of IT, inadequate educational activities and insufficient funding.
They therefore cannot be expected to play a significant role in the educational process.
In contrast, the majority of school librarians, school managers and administrative area
managers reported encouraging attitudes towards modern concepts of learning and
school library media centres.
Recommendations for development focus on three areas: the learning environment;
the physical infrastructure of the school library and its resources; and the status and
position of school librarians. The necessity of changing the traditional learning
approach into a student-centred approach is stressed. To support such an approach,
information skills should be introduced and IT should be considered an important
method of accessing information. The role of the school library in the learning
process also needs to be recognised and school librarians should be seen as an
important part of the educational team. They should have appropriate qualifications in
Library and Information Science and be able to access in-service training. Finally,
school librarians should be involved in formal collaboration with teachers to develop
an effective learning environment.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.