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Conference Proceeding

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This paper provides a case study of the rural library programs sponsored by the Evergreen Education Foundation (EEF) and identifies the vital role of school libraries in improving local residents’ access to information and enriching their cultural life. It analyzes the data collected from user surveys of one high school library and one book station from two library clusters in underdeveloped rural Tianzhu and Tongwei counties in Gansu Province of western China to assess the impact and effectiveness of a schoollibrary- centered community information resource sharing model developed and implemented by China Evergreen Rural Library Service Stations (CERLS). A total of 1,350 surveys were distributed to the community library users in the two counties to gain a better understanding of their satisfaction level and expectations of the libraries’ collections, services, and outreach programs, and to examine the impact of the model on the social and economic life of local residents. A quantitative approach was used to analyze the survey data and a standard structure and format of data presentation was followed so that the research might be replicated by CERLS libraries in other locations. As CERLS programs continue to expand into other locations in China, this study may provide useful information and a model to analyze prospective programs. This study could provide impetus for more studies on the rural library programs in other areas of China and in other underdeveloped regions of the world.


Presented at the World Library and Information Congress: 74th IFLA General Conference and Council, August 10-14, 2008, Quebec, Canada