Rhyme or reason? Identifying distinguishing features of elementary school library poetry collections




Enochs, Elizabeth Lee

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This research arose from a long-standing, scholarly concern that the poetry collections in many elementary school libraries decline in condition and size over time. To gauge the ability of elementary school poetry collections to support current pedagogy, this research analyzed the poetry holdings of seventy-two libraries in one school district, and answered the question: What are the distinguishing features of elementary school library poetry collections? Nearly ninety percent of the schools' poetry collections were less than half the recommended size. Most of the poetry collections were near the fourteen-year age limit for a standards compliant school library collection, and circulation of poetry over one school year totaled less than one percent of the average library's circulation for that school year. Age of the poetry collection was a significant predictor of circulation, but size was not. It was unlikely that these elementary school library poetry collections could support current poetry pedagogy.



Communication and the arts, Education, Elementary education, Language arts