Perspectives of school administrators related to school library media programs after participating in an online course, "School library advocacy for administrators"
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This mixed methods study examines the experiences of two groups of administrators who participated in the online course, "School Library Advocacy for Administrators," respectively, in the summer of 2005 and the fall of 2006. The course was offered through Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. It was developed to educate administrators about school library media programs and the role of the library media specialist, and to subsequently create administrative advocates for school libraries. The purpose of this study is to explore how these administrators perceive that the course made a difference in what they know about school library media programs and how the information impacted their perspectives and actions in relationship to the library media programs in their buildings. Employing a mixed methods approach, this study makes use of standardized responses and descriptive/phenomenological methods to examine the experiences of the participants through interviews. Findings indicate that the Mansfield University online course provides an impetus for participating administrators to change their perceptions toward library media programs and make changes in their school library programs to some degree. Based on these findings, the Mansfield online course appears to offer a viable solution for informing educational administrators about school library programs.