Use of selection tools in New Zealand secondary school libraries
The purpose of this research was to investigate the use of selection tools in New Zealand secondary schools, specifically which selection tools are used, how satisfactory the tools are, and which criteria secondary school librarians use in assessing selection tools. Particular attention was paid to the status of evaluative and alerting selection tools in school libraries. A mail questionnaire was sent to a random nationwide sample of 186 secondary school librarians. To gain a richer understanding of the context of selection in secondary schools, 4 focus groups were also held in the Wellington, Horowhenua, Palmerston North, and Wanganui areas. The resulting data was analysed alongside the questionnaire data to provide more comprehensive answers to the study's research questions. The study found that alerting tools were more widely used and considered more valuable than evaluative tools, with the ability to preview an item a key concern for school librarians. Tools supplied by the book selling and publishing industries were the most common tools used, and the features of selection tools considered most important focused on a tool's performance as an alerting tool. Online tools were not widely used, with connectivity problems and lack of time cited as the most common reasons.