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  • Reading Habits among Library and Information Science Studentsof Annamalai University: A Survey

    S. Thanuskodi

    Library & Information Science Wing, Directorate of Distance Education, AnnamalaiUniversity, Annamalai Nagar 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India

    E-mail: thanuskodi_s@yahoo.com

    KEYWORDS LIS Students. Pleasure in Reading. Newspapers. Magazines. Internet Publications. Child Care. PersonalRelationship

    ABSTRACT A modern saying says Todays Readers are tomorrows Leader. One should read books and other materialsto acquire knowledge. Unless one reads and get in touch with the mass media, it is difficult to know what is going aroundus. Not only that, a student has to read books, other than his text books, so that the area of thinking and acting will becomebroader. Reading to learn is an essential tool for life- long learning. Promoting a reading culture among students istherefore one of the key tasks in the curriculum reform with the aim to strengthen students learning capabilities. Readingcan definitely be taken as the first button in the garment education. It is not the sole object of school, but it is almostimpossible to think of education without thinking about what happens and what is implied when a human being tries toget meaning out of the written or printed symbols. The results of the study indicated that majority of the LIS students(79.53 %) are interested in reading LIS course material frequently. The result show that the students overall respondedthat work most often interfered with their reading and studying.

    INTRODUCTION

    In reading habit, we get two words read-ing and habit. Reading is an action of a personwho reads and habit is a product of this action orlearning. Like all other habits, the habit or read-ing in an individual develops during the courseof time. Smith and Robinson defined reading asan active attempt on the part of reader to under-stand a writers message. Devarajan definesreading as an art of interpreting printed and writ-ten words. Nowadays, a common allegation israised that the reading habit is decreasing. It istrue that if we go to the reading room of a li-brary, we find most of the seats are dusty. It isreally a matter of concern. So, I made a plan tostudy the reading habit of the library and infor-mation science students. The purpose of thisstudy is to survey the reading habits of the li-brary and information science students.

    Reading is a precise process. It involves ex-act, detailed, sequential perception and identifi-cation of letters, words, spelling patterns andlarge language units. More simply stated, read-ing is a psycholinguistic guessing game. It in-volves an interaction between thoughts and lan-guage. Efficient reading does not result from pre-cise perception and identification of all elements,but from skill in selecting the fewest, most pro-ductive cues necessary to produce guesses whichare right the first time. The ability to anticipate

    that which has not been seen, of course, is vitalin reading, just as the ability to anticipate. Whathas not yet been heard is vital in listening. To-day, the reading has social, academic, economi-cal and survival significance, because democra-cy of a country can survive when people at largehave reading competence. Reading is always ameans to an end and not an end in itself. Further,reading is the process of using over eyes, ourmind, to understand the literal as well as thehidden meaning of what the writer was attempt-ing to convey. Therefore, reading gives both pow-er, and pleasure with understanding, by readingthe material as a unified whole, by which onecan expand the frontiers of knowledge and schol-arship.

    Benefits of Reading

    The impact of reading in peoples lives is ex-traordinarily widespread. A reader can learn newskills, can be introduced to new facts, he canbecome more knowledgeable about the wholeworld and he can be stimulated to both thoughtand emotion. Reading has the unique power oftransforming readers. It is sometimes said, Weare what we read. Abraham Lincoln said, Thethings I want to know are in books. My friend isthe man who will get a book to read. FrancisBacon therefore, rightly said, Reading makes afull man.

    Kamla-Raj 2011 Int J Edu Sci, 3(2): 79-83 (2011)

  • Reading is the art of interpreting printed andwritten words. It is a basic tool of education.According to William S. Grey, reading influencesthe extent and accuracy of information as wellas the attitudes, moral beliefs, judgments andaction of readers. The reading habit is one of thepowerful and lasting influences in the promotionof ones personal development in particular andsocial progress in general. Regular and system-atic reading sharpens the intellect, refines theemotions, elevates tastes and provides perspec-tives for ones living; and thereby prepares himfor an effective civilizing force tending to unitesocial groups through the dissemination of com-mon experiences. Considering the social, culturaland educational goals of reading, it is felt that itis worthwhile to know the reading habits of stu-dents community. There are only a few numbersof attempts in the field of reading interest of sec-ondary school children. Moreover, sufficientstudy of the reading interest, especially of ado-lescent group in Indian setting is lacking.

    Literature Review

    This paper presents a selective review of stud-ies conducted in India and abroad, includingAnderson (2007), Shahriza (2007), Train (2007),Bostrm and Lassen (2006), Corradini (2006),Dent (2006), Celep and Cetin (2005), Brier andLebbin (2004), but this type of research is un-usual, since it studies the reading habits of thesenior secondary students. Schools curriculumincorporates an expressive and exploratory frominteractive education system, so that they deve-lop an inquisitive mind and discover the powerof self-determination and discipline to grow upinto successful professionals and good humanbeings.

    Professors make assumptions about studentsreading habits before coming to decisions abouttheir reading requirements for a particular courseor topic. These assumptions relate to the speedand efficacy of reading together with the recog-nition and appreciation of the significance ofmaterials to be read. College students are ex-pected be efficient and proficient readers. Manycollege courses require students to read 100-150pages of material per week. When this is multi-plied by 4 or 5 courses per semester, it equatesto 400 or more pages per week. Time manage-ment is crucial to keeping up on reading assign-ments. Students must have good organization

    skills for college. If they are disorganized, theywill quickly find themselves falling behind inassignments, due dates and reading (Glencoe2004).

    Reading is essential to academic successand to intellectual growth. The National Endow-ment for the Arts (NEA) surveyed 17,000 indi-viduals and discovered that in 1982, 57 percentof adult Americans read literature and in 2004the figure had fallen to 46.7 percent. The rate ofdecline for the youngest adults, those aged 18to 24, was 55 percent greater than that of the to-tal adult population. The NEA study did not in-clude non-fiction or college student reading,however, it is believed that decline of readingthreatens not only Americas arts heritage but itseconomic position in the world as well. Readingrequires sustained focused attention, workingwith the powers of memory and imagination.Economic success depends on innovation andcreativity which comes from reading. Television,video games, and even the internet are more pas-sive than reading. Reading forces the reader tothink; watching allows escape. College studentsnowadays do not have the traditional sense ofthe role that reading plays in the development ofones life (NEA 2004).

    Objectives of the Study

    This paper reports the results of a survey ofLibrary and Information Science students ad-dressing this question. The objectives were todetermine: To know the frequency of reading LIS mate-

    rials To know the frequency of reading for plea-

    sure To know whether the students spend time

    on various activities To know the activities interfere most with

    reading and studying

    METHODOLOGY

    The Library and Information Science stu-dents in the Directorate of Distance Education,Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu were sur-veyed in the academic year 2009-2010. The LISWing has an enrollment of around 3000 studentsin three courses including Master of Library andInformation Science, Bachelor of Library andInformation Sceince and Certificate of Library

    S. THANUSKODI80

  • and Information Science. A sample of 342 of thestudents participated in this research. 186 stu-dents were female and 156 were male students.In this study, 60 were under 20 years of age, 85were 21-25 years of age, and 197 were over 25years of age. All courses offered during the aca-demic year 2009-2010 were listed and from thislist a random selection was made. The selectionincluded MLIS, BLIS and CLIS courses. A ques-tionnaire was developed for this study. Comple-tion of the questionnaire required about ten min-utes and questionnaires were given to all the par-ticipants during a class period. They were brieflyinformed about the research project and wereassured that their responses would remain anony-mous and confidential. The surveys were givenout and collected back at the beginning or end tothe class hour. A total of 342 questionnaires werecompleted by library and information sciencestudents. The data were summarized and percent-ages were calculated.

    RESULTS

    Data in Table 1 shows that Library and Infor-mation Science course material were read moreoften than other LIS material. Course materialwas read frequently by 79.53 percent of the stu-dents and sometimes by an additional 14.33 per-cent. The percentage of students reading LISmaterial rarely was 6.4 percent. Reading LIS re-lated material on the internet was second in fre-quency with 18.12 percent reading on the internetfrequently and 36.85 percent reading rarely. Over46.19 percent of the students never read LIS jour-nals. However, some students rarely read vari-ous types of LIS materials 31.58 percent rarelyread a LIS journals, 39.19 percent rarely readLIS news letters and 49.13 percent rarely readLIS magazines. One third of the respondents30.12 percent sometimes read LIS related mate-rials on the internet and 29.82 percent rarely readLIS news letters. Around one- fourth of the re-spondents 26.90 percent never read LIS newsletters, 21.05 percent never read LIS magazinesand 14.91 percent never read LIS related mate-rials on the internet.

    Data in Table 2 shows that for recreationalreading, 54.39 percent read newspapers fre-quently followed by 38.59 percent sometimesread newspapers, 47.96 percent read fiction fre-quently, 31.58 percent read magazines frequent-ly and both 27.48 percent read internet publica-

    Table 1: Frequency of reading LIS materials

    Variables Fre- Some- Rarely Neverquently times

    LIS course 272 49 21 -material (79.53) (14.33) (6.14)

    LIS journals 32 44 108 158 (9.36) (12.87) (31.58) (46.19)

    LIS news letters 14 102 134 92 (4.09) (29.82) (39.19) (26.90)

    LIS magazines 40 62 168 72(11.69) (18.13) (49.13) (21.05)

    LIS related on 62 103 126 51internet (18.12) (30.12) (36.85) (14.91)

    tions and religious publications frequently. Thepercentage of students reading religious pub-lications sometimes was 32.17 percent, 30.40percent sometimes read both fiction and poet-ry, 28.08 percent sometimes read magazines.Around one- third of the students read rarely no-vels, comic books, magazines and internet pub-lications, religious publications. In fact, 26.32percent never read non-fiction, 22.23 percentnever read internet publications, 21.05 percentnever read comic books and poetry, 17.54 per-cent never read novels.

    Table 2: Frequency of reading for pleasure

    Variables Fre- Some- Rarely Neverquently times

    Newspapers 186 132 20 4(54.39) (38.59) (5.85) (1.17)

    Magazines 108 96 100 38(31.58) (28.08) (29.23) (11.11)

    Comic books 84 76 110 72(24.56) (22.22) (32.17) (21.05)

    Poetry 68 104 98 72(19.88) (30.40) (28.66) (21.05)

    Internet 94 68 104 76publications (27.48) (19.89) (30.40) (22.23)Novels 58 82 142 60

    (16.96) (23.98) (41.52) (17.54)Non-fiction 72 80 100 90

    (21.05) (23.39) (29.24) (26.32)Religious 94 110 98 40publications (27.48) (32.17) (28.66) (11.69)Fiction 164 104 54 20

    (47.96) (30.40) (15.79) (5.85)

    Table 3 shows when students were asked howmany hours per week that they spend on variousactivities, the data show that students spend moretime, that is, 11 to 15 hours (77.48 %) readingbooks followed by 51.46 percent watching homemovies and 29.83 percent surf the internet. Ma-jority of the students, 57.31 percent watched tele-vision around 5 to 10 hours per week followed

    READING HABITS AMONG LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE STUDENTS 81

  • by recorded music 53.81 percent, 36.84 percentplayed video games, 29.82 percent watched homemovies and 24.56 percent read books. A total of76.90 percent spend very less time for listeningto radio followed by talk on phone, 71.92 per-cent. Around half of the students spent very lesstime for reading books and instead of play videogames.

    Table 3: Weekly hours students spend on variousactivities

    Variables Less than 5 to 10 11 to 155 hours hours hours

    Talk on phone 246(71.92) 64(18.72) 32 (9.36)Watch TV 58(16.95) 196(57.31) 88(25.74)Listen to radio 263(76.90) 49(14.33) 30 (8.77)Play video games 142(41.53) 126(36.84) 74(21.63)Watch home 64(18.72) 102(29.82) 176(51.46)

    moviesRead 164(47.96) 84(24.56) 94(77.48)Listen to recorded 58(16.95) 184(53.81) 100(29.24)

    musicSurf the internet 162(47.36) 78(22.81) 102(29.83)

    Table 4: Activities that interfere with reading andstudying

    Variables Fre- Some- Rarely Neverquently times

    Work 168 86 70 18(49.12) (25.14) (20.47) (5.27)

    Sports 84 78 112 68(24.56) (22.81) (32.74) (19.89)

    Clubs/Orga- 98 102 102 40nizations (28.65) (29.83) (29.83) (11.69)

    Personal re- 68 142 34 98lationships (19.88) (41.52) (9.94) (28.66)

    Child care 48 168 26 100(14.03) (49.13) (7.60) (29.24)

    From the Table 4, When activities that inter-fere with reading and study are considered, 49.12percent of the students indicated frequently in-terfered by work followed by club/ organizations28.65 percent, 24.56 percent frequently inter-fered by sports and 14.03 percent frequently in-terfered by child care. 49.13 percent of the stu-dents recorded that child care sometimes inter-fered followed by 41.52 percent sometimes in-terfered by personal relationships and 29.83 per-cent sometimes interfered by clubs/organiza-tions. Around one- third of the students recordedrarely interfered by sports and club/organizations.Less than 20 percent of the students recordednever interfered by work, sports, clubs and or-ganizations.

    DISCUSSION

    Majority of the LIS students (79.53 %) areinterested in reading LIS course material fre-quently (Table 1). Over 46.19 percent of the stu-dents never read LIS journals (Table 1)....

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