Measuring Our Results

This report aims to be an overview of our post-assessment of 165 rural elementary schools. The Library Project conducted this survey from January to December 2019 of schools that received library donations in the 2018 calendar year. 

The work was carried out by the Monitoring and Evaluation Team of The Library Project. This report will demonstrate the overall performance of the 165 libraries by analyzing the results of weighted questions. It is our hope that you will have a better understanding of the hard work the teachers and administration at each of our schools do every day.

Overall Performance
Library Frequency of Usage
Checkout Records
Teachers Guide Students with Book Selection
Number of Books Students Read Annually

Overall Performance

In terms of the daily management of a school’s library they do best with the opening of their library; 99% of schools open their libraries on a daily-to-weekly basis. 78% of schools conducting book classification and registration; which is an area that we would like to see improvement.

In terms of creating a reading culture within the school, 95% of teachers provide guidance when students choose books from their libraries. Furthermore, 93% of students have read more than 11 books from their library in one year, which is an improvement from the previous year of 90%.

15% of schools doing reading activities on a weekly basis is our worst performing indicator. This result is largely expected. Improving literacy and reading awareness is a slow process in itself, and to compound the challenge, teachers rarely have any time left to hold additional class activities.

Answers to Six Weighted Questions

Schools opening library on a daily-to-weekly basis 99%
Schools with teachers helping students with book selection 95%
Schools with students reading more than 10 books annually 93%
Schools maintaining checkout cards 86%
Schools doing book classification and registration 78%
Schools conducting reading activities on a daily-to-weekly basis 15%

Library Frequency of Usage

Of the six weighted questions, the most important is the frequency of library usage, enabling students to have access to books. As shown in the figure, 79% of the schools open their library and let students read books every day, 20% of schools open their library every week, and 1% open their library monthly. These are wonderful results.

Our goal is to have library usage of daily-to-weekly, and the results by far indicate that we have hit this goal. The single location that has a monthly schedule is actually not a school, but a youth service center. For that reason, a monthly opening is more realistic for their individual situation.

We find that there are three daily opening modes. The first is when a Reading Room is opened by a librarian or senior student during lunchtime. A small number of schools open their Reading Room the entire day because most schools do not have a full-time librarian. The second mode is when the schools have STEAM Classroom Libraries, and because they are unlocked and located in each classroom it encourages students to read books at any time. The third mode is when the school have a Reading Room and teachers bring a selection of books into their classrooms for the students to read. As a result, some books are read and borrowed from the Reading Room and some books are read in the classroom setting.

How often does the library open?

Daily 79%
Weekly 20%
Monthly 1%

Teachers Guide Students with Book Selection

95% of teachers provide guidance to students on book selection. We find that although there are various ways for teachers to help students select books, the most common way is for the teacher to recommend related works according to the subject they are learning. Students then read the book in their Reading Room, classroom, or borrow the books to read at home.

In addition, there are also librarians who will set a small blackboard in the school library to recommend good books to all students. For example, Mr. Lou Ying, a librarian in Ruixi Town Central Primary School, Guizhou Province, puts three small blackboards in his library, one of which is specifically for book recommendations.

Do teachers guide students with book selection?

Yes 95%
No 5%

Checkout Records

86% of schools have kept checkout records. Large schools do better than small and medium schools because the rules and regulations of library management in large schools have been in place for years. In addition, we also found that students in 78% of large schools are active participants in their library management (the ratio of small and medium schools is 55.4% and 70.9% respectively), which we believe contributes to a higher book checkout rate. 

There are many reasons why a school might not keep checkout records, such as being understaffed, the demographic of the students being special needs, or teachers believing the students are too young to take books home safely. In these cases, we overwhelmingly see students being allowed to read books at the schools, but not being able to bring books home for after school reading activities. 

Do schools keep checkout records?

Yes 86%
No 14%

Number of Books Students Read Annually

94% of students read ten or more books annually; that is on average one book a month. 50% of students read more than 20 books annually.

Students from 6.1% of schools read less than 10 books per year. These schools generally have special circumstances, such as their students have special needs. These schools range from youth service centers to disabled children’s learning centers.

How many books do students read annually?

Over 20 books 50%
16-20 books 33%
11-15 books 11%
5-10 books 6%

Measuring Our Results

At The Library Project, we believe measuring our impact is important.

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Core Values

When designing our programs, we ensure that all of our core values are represented.

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Where We Work

We work in rural communities throughout China and Vietnam.

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