Reflection: 4.3 Apply Theories of Organizational Behavior and Structure

The associated artifacts demonstrate my ability to apply theories of organizational behavior and structure.  The Evaluation of Virtual Learning demonstrates my understanding of the role of the library in lifelong learning of patrons, including the provision of quality service and in the promotion of library services.  The Rules of Engagement assignment demonstrates my understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices and human resource development, as well as the concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for principled, transformational leadership.

The role of the library in patrons’ lifelong learning is to assess and evaluate information, communication, assistive, and related technologies to provide access to relevant and accurate recorded knowledge and information to individuals of all ages and groups.  In assessing various virtual learning technologies from my own perspective as a lifelong learner, I have gained insight into what which technologies might work best for different types of learners.  The examined aspects, as assigned, taught me where to focus my attention when evaluating resources for patrons seeking to learn independently.

The Rules of Engagement paper, giving my evaluation of two separate research papers on management styles represents my best understanding of the principles of effective personnel practices, human resource development, and the concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for principled, transformational leadership.  I agreed with a human-centered approach, acknowledging conflict and the existence of emotion, and offering solutions that represent “a social climate of teamwork, an expectation of mutual validation and support, and…general guidelines for keeping personal interactions functional.”  Likewise, I rejected the less-personal, data-driven graph approach to conflict management as unrealistic in practice.

Collection Development Policy Part 3

  1. Evaluation. As it has been determined that the poetry collection should focus on professionally recognized poets writing from a diverse variety of perspectives and backgrounds, and that the collection must remain current and in active use, the following questions will be considered when evaluating materials for selection or deselection.  These questions speak directly to the criteria previously stated in the collection development plan.
    1. Are a wide variety of perspectives represented in the collection, as evidenced by ages, genders, ethnicities, economic status, social classes, and geographic locations of included poets?
      1. Biographical information can be found to assist in answering this question on book jackets, personal websites, and in professional publications. Comparing this biographical information between poets already included in the collection and those under consideration for inclusion can help determine overlap or diversity of voices in and expand the depth of the collection.
      2. Samples of a poet’s work can also be found in professional publications, and on professional or personal websites. These samples again allow for comparison between poets on subject matter, tone, writing style, and perspective, to ensure there is diversity of voice and depth in the collection.
    2. Is the collection current and in active use by library patrons, as evidenced by circulation and usage statistics?
      1. The library uses CollectionHQ for detailed usage statistics. The interface clearly illustrates areas of the collection that are “high use,” “oversaturated,” “dead” or in need of a “refresh.” (CollectionHQ, 2015) Per library policy, any item that has not circulated in two years is to be discarded.  And the poetry collection can be considered current and in active use if less than 20% of items are non-circulating.
      2. The Evergreen catalog allows staff to view the last two circulation records on any item. This information includes the location where the items was checked out, whether that was at its home library or at another library in the consortium.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) If an item is getting more use from other libraries, that may be an indication that it is not relevant to the needs of local library patrons.
      3. One piece of information that is missing from our statistics is in-house use. Although Evergreen allows tracking of the total items used in-house, that information does not attach to a specific record.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) Therefore, it is impossible to know which items are being used in-house without being checked out.  This is a glaring and significant hole that needs to be filled, especially in light of our two-year limit for non-circulating items.
  2. Resource Sharing. The library has many options to fill gaps in the collection through resource sharing.
    1. As a member of the Evergreen Indiana consortium, all print items more than six months old are available to any patron of any member library. This arrangement allows local patrons to obtain titles that might not be in their home library collection.  (Evergreen Indiana, 2015) As such, Redwood Public Library need not retain items that haven’t circulated in more than two years.  Also, large anthologies by commonly known and historically important poets can more confidently be eliminated from the collection as they are relatively easy to obtain elsewhere.
    2. Additionally, Redwood Public Library participates in a nation-wide interlibrary loan program, whereby items can be requested of any library willing to send them. This is a useful resource for locating rare items that aren’t practical to add to the local collection.
    3. As poetry appeals to a more academic portion of the library population, this segment of the collection might be suitable for a resource sharing agreement with an academic library, particularly one with a strong creative writing program. Though the benefit to the public library is fairly clear, in terms of increased access to additional poetry titles, it is difficult to see what benefit the public library might provide the academic one.  Rather than just materials, the public library might be able to provide reception or exhibit space, or simply access for students to new audiences.

Resources

CollectionHQ. (2015). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.collectionhq.com/

 Evergreen Indiana. (2015). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://blog.evergreen.lib.in.us/?page_id=2770

Lamb, A. (2015). Resource Sharing. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://eduscapes.com/collection/12.htm

Budget Worksheet

This assignment required that I take Crawfordsville District Public Library’s 2014 budget data and create a budget for 2015 allowing for a 10% increase in the operating budget.

JConrad Budget worksheet2

Account # Description Annual Appropriation 2014
1. Personnel Services
1.11 SALARY OF LIBRARIAN 69000 69000 1 Librarian (Director?)
1.12 SALARY OF ASSISTANTS 582500 582500 20 assistants making lowest salary range
1.13 WAGES OF JANITORS 9000 9000 These salaries seem reasonable for current economy.
1.41 FICA 59000 59000
1.42 PERF 40000 40000
1.43 HEALTH 72000 72000
1.44 UNEMPLOYMENT 6500 6500
Sub Total 838000 838000
2. Supplies
2.11 OFFICIAL RECORDS 500 500
2.12 STATIONERY, PRINT 500 500
2.13  OFFICE SUPPLIES 3000 3000
2.21 CLEANING SUPPLIES 5800 5800
2.31 REPAIR & MAINT. SUPPLIES 2500 2500
2.41 BOOK REPAIR SUPL 1000 1000
2.42  GENERAL LIB.SUPL 29005 29005
Sub Total 42305 42305
3. Other Services and Charges
3.11 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 21500 71500 Services related to bldg improvement
3.12 PROCESSING 3000 3000
3.145  DATABASE 5000 5000
3.146 E-FORMATS 10000 10000
3.21 TELECOM 39000 39000
3.22 POSTAGE 3000 3000
3.23 TRAVEUMEETINGS 5000 5000
3.24 TRASH SERVICE 3000 3000
3.31 PUBLIC NOTICES 500 500
3.32 OTHER ADVERTISING 500 500
3.41 OFFICIAL BONDS 200 200
3.42 INSURANCE 36400 36400
3.51 ELECTRICITY 95000 98000
3.53 SEWERAGE 500 520
3.54 WATER 5000 5200
3.61 BUILDING MAINTENANCE 53450 53450
3.62 EQUIPMENT REPAIR 18150 18150
3.7 RENTALS 3000 3000
3.81 DUES 1800 1800
3.83  TRANS.TO LIRF 30512 30512
Sub Total 334512 387732
4.  Capital Outlays
4.1 BLDG IMPROVEMENT 4000 79000 Library was built in 2005.  Program attendance has steadily increased.  Probably need more space, if not structural repairs.
4.2 FURNITURE & EQUIPMENT 28000 41351 Additional furniture & equip related to bldg improvement.
4.31 BOOKS 111000 111000 Circ has dropped significantly over the last two years.  But circ per total items is severely out of balance in some portions of the collection.  Need to rebalance individual collection budgets and weed, weed, weed.
4.32 PERIODICALS 12000 8000 Magazine use is up slightly from 2014, but 12,000 items had 2,000 total circs. Transferred to databases and e-formats
4.33  DVD’S & CD’S 6000 13000 Adult media circulation far exceeds item numbers – 30,000 circs on 8,000 items.
4.34 MICROFILM 3000 0 Transferred to dvds and cds.
4.36 SOFTWARE 37183 38183
Sub Total 201183 290534
Grand Total 1416000 1558571
883.00 is 10% budget increase Sources:
unaccounted for http://www.in.gov/library/5410.htm
2014 Salaries.xls
Library Facilities and Construction Status.xls
http://www.cdpl.lib.in.us/about/statistics
1416000 1558571 CDPL/CMMC Programs Five Year Comparison: 2011-2015
x.075 x.075 CDPL/CMMC Program Attendance Five-Year Comparison: 2011-2015
106200 116893 CDPL Item Circulation 2014-2015 Comparisons
2015 CDPL Item Count and Circulation
132000 132000 2015 CDPL Combined Programs Attendance
currently Maintained but could cut here. CDPL Circulation – Yearly Comparisons.
allocating about Non-Sponsored Meeting Room Usage – Yearly Comparisons
10% to collections

Social Responsibility

The following was a group discussion post in response to a prompt on social responsibility:

Relating involvement with social issues directly to librarianship (i.e., meeting the information needs of the patron community, rather than promoting literacy) is not at all limiting. Additionally, librarians need not become actively engaged in the human dignity and social conditions in which human culture overall develops, but rather become actively engaged in the human dignity, social conditions, and culture of the local patron community. Therefore, librarians must devote themselves to advocating the views of the patron community on local effects of major social issues, such as gay rights, poverty, etc.

It is truly naive to think anyone can remain neutral and be divorced from the social context within which they operate. Even attempting to remain neutral is a politically biased act. When the needs of the community are in conflict, the organization and the staff can mitigate bias by doing its best to meet the needs of as many as possible, and act in a manner which causes the least amount of harm. Personal misgivings can be assuaged by focusing on quality information and engagement from all sides of an issue, especially those with which one personally disagrees. Simply staking out a position, no matter how ethically forthright, leads to organizational obsolescence, unless that position is in line with community needs.

The ALA’s Library Bill of Rights even directs itself to “all of the people of the community the library serves,” not society as a whole, human culture as a whole, or the general population of any specific country or state. If we are following its policies as they pertain to our communities, libraries cannot help become engaged in its social and political issues.

Reflection: 5.1 Represent and Organize Resources

The associated assignments demonstrate my ability to understand principles of representation and organization.  The FRBR catalog assignment required that I catalog several items on my shelf according to FRBR principles.  The Authority Control assignment required that I locate authority headings for various people, places, corporate entities and subjects.

In creating the FRBR catalog entries for titles on my shelf, I needed to understand group entities.  I was then able to offer descriptions for each group.  Within the Group 1 entities, I described the work, offered several examples of expression and manifestation of the work, and designated the item at the collection level.  Group 2 entities consist of names relating to the production of the work: authors, illustrators, publishers; individual names or names of corporations. Group 3 entities consist of keywords related to the subject of the work: concepts, places, plot-points, characters, tropes, etc., including those terms that fell under Group 1 and 2; anything that might somehow relate to the work that might provide a reasonable search term.  I thoroughly and completely utilized the principles involved in the organization and representation of recorded knowledge and information in this assignment, demonstrating mastery of FRBR cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods, earning 100% on the assignment, and an instructor comment of “Great work.  Well done.”

The Authority File assignment also demonstrates mastery of systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods used to organize recorded knowledge and information, in this instance, from the opposite perspective, looking at the cataloged information to identify a work, rather than defining a work to create a catalog entry.  As I have successfully completed these assignments requiring developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed to organize recorded knowledge and information sources both backward and forward, I feel I have demonstrated mastery of the “Represent and Organize Resources” program goal.

6.1 Execute Research Principles

These evaluative exercises from the Introduction to Research course demonstrate my understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as the principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.

Operationalization allows abstract concepts to be made concrete and measurable, or quantitative.  In the “Operationalizing Neighborliness” assignment, I break down the process of turning the abstract concept of neighborliness into quantitative, measurable characteristics.  This process is one of the fundamentals of quantitative research.

The remaining documents demonstrate assessment of the actual and potential value of the research papers they discuss.  The “Hypothesis and Testing” assignment and the “Sex Sells Analysis” assignment require that I answer a series of pointed questions intended to teach students to recognize areas of focus for analysis in the associated research.  The final of the four included assignments, “Content Analysis: NFL Inclusivity” requires that I complete a research analysis on my own.  The final class assignment, which I chose not to include here as I’ve used it in other areas of the portfolio, was a complete literature review.

This course and these assignments have helped me perfect my ability to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions, not only in regard to formal, academic research, but also in regard to defining service population groups and determining community needs.  Appropriate solutions, then, in the form of programs and services to patrons, evolve from that analysis.  I regularly put these skills to use in writing service plans that require statistical analysis of the local community, and expect to continue to do so in the future.

7.1 Implement Information Technologies

This plan for implementing a makerspace in an urban public library demonstrates my ability to understand and act on national and international social, public, information, economic, and cultural policies and trends of significance to the library and information profession.  Makerspaces have become the standard in many community libraries for providing STEM or STEAM literacy education.  As this trend continues to build momentum it is important that it reach communities that might not otherwise have access to emerging technologies.

Within the plan, I apply methods of assessing and evaluating the specifications, efficacy, and cost efficiency of technology-based products and services.  Ultimately, the assessment recommends forgoing a makerspace in favor of other, more basic patron needs that were, at that time, unmet.  The budget for materials, however, comes in well under the $10,000.00 allotted, while still providing opportunities for technology education.  The extra funds can either be redirected toward early literacy, earmarked for replacing consumables, or directed toward bringing in technology presentations from partner organizations.  Yet, the materials to be purchased are well suited to matching the tech-literacy needs of an under-employed, adult service population as indicated by the evaluation of local population statistics.

Focusing the services and materials of the space toward this segment of the community, instead of toward children or teens who have more access to technology education through their public schools than do impoverished adults with little-to-no post-secondary education, represents the outcome of an impact assessment on current and emerging situations or circumstances related to the design and implementation of appropriate services or resource development.  This also demonstrates an appropriate response to diversity in user needs, user communities, and user preferences.

Theory and Hypothesis Testing

  1. What subject areas are covered by the literature review?

The literature review covered the subject areas of demographic, economic, and cultural characteristics of library users, correlation between these characteristics and level of library use, spatial accessibility of a library and its effect on library use, interaction between social and spacial influences on library use, in so much as that this final subject area was ignored in the literature.

  1. Why do the authors cite the literature they do?

The literature the authors cite defines the independent variables of demographic, economic, cultural, and spatial characteristics of libraries and their users.

  1. What gaps in the literature have the authors identified?

The authors have identified a lack of research on the interaction between social and spacial influences on library use.

  1. How are the gaps related to their study?

The gaps are directly related to their study, as the influence that the interaction between social and spacial community characteristics has on library use is precisely what their study attempts to determine.

  1. Name two terms are have been operationally defined. Describe how so.

Neighborhood: “‘a limited territory within a larger urban area, where people inhabit dwellings and interact socially’ [17, p. 13] or a geographic unit ‘within which certain social relationships exist’ [18, p. 15].”

Social capital: “refers to connections among individuals, such as social networks, norms of reciprocity, and social trust, that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit [20–21].”

  1. How is Central Place Theory used in the study design?

Central Place Theory is used to define the neighborhoods’ physical location, spatially limiting the data collected.

  1. Identify Dependent Variable?

The dependent variable is library use.

  1. Identify Independent Variables?

Independent variables include the demographic, economic, cultural characteristics of library users and neighborhoods, as well as the spatial characteristics of libraries and neighborhoods.

  1. Do the authors clearly state a hypothesis or is it implied?

The hypothesis is clearly stated.

  1. Where did you find it?

The hypothesis is found in the first sentence of the last paragraph of the literature, where the authors state, “we believe….”

  1. How does the hypothesis relate to the literature review?

The hypothesis is formed by considering the gaps in the literature in relation to the observations found within the literature.

  1. Discuss the relationship between research questions and hypotheses.

The researchers approached their literature review hoping to find an explanation for an observation: poor blacks and Hispanics are not using public libraries. Research provided some explanation, however, gaps were noted, leading to additional questions. These additional questions led to the formation of the researchers’ hypothesis. Therefore, research questions lead to hypotheses, which are affirmed, discredited, and/or explained by research, which leads to additional questions, and the cycle repeats. In this way, knowledge evolves.

Sex Sells Analysis

Question 1-9 are to be answered using the Introductory section.

  1. Why is the area of research important and worth funding?

This area of research is worth funding because the US “has primarily funded and promoted abstinence education despite the fact that “few randomized controlled trials have tested their efficacy.”  Trials are needed to determine if abstinence programs are having the desired effect.  If not, they are a waste of money.

  1. Why is it important to specifically study African American teenagers?

It is important to specifically study African American teenagers, because “60% of adolescents with HIV/AIDS (are) African American,” and rates of STIs “are the highest among African American individuals…particularly adolescent girls.”  Pregnancy rates have also been higher among African American girls than their Hispanic and white peers.

  1. How are the two major reduction interventions defined?

The two major reduction interventions are defined as “abstinence only” and “comprehensive.”  The comprehensive intervention includes abstinence and safer-sex instruction, including apropriate condom use.

  1. How have researchers traditionally operationalized abstinence reduction?

Abstinence reduction has traditionally offered “inaccurate information,” which “portray(s) sex in a negative light, using a moralistic tone, and risking adverse consequences.”

  1. In what ways are these authors asserting that they have improved upon the traditional operationalization of abstinence only reduction.

The authors assert their operationalization is “ideal,” incorporating “principles of efficacious…risk reduction behavioral interventions….draw(ing) on formative research…and behavior-change theory to address motivation and build skills to practice abstinence.”  They claim theirs is not moralistic, and does not “stress the inadequacies of condoms.”

  1. What is the first limitation of the study? (Hint look in the last paragraph of the first section.)

The first limitation of the study is that “efficacy…disappears at longer-term follow-up.”  Everyone is expected to eventually have sex.  Therefore, it seems the number abstaining for a set period of time might not be the best measure of effectiveness.  Rather, the age at which teens do finally have sex might better determine how effective abstinence education is.

  1. What is the primary hypothesis?

The primary hypothesis is that “fewer participants in the abstinence-only interveion than in the control group would report ever having sexual intercourse by the 24-month follow-up.

  1. What is the secondary?

The secondary hypothesis “was that the intervention-maintenance program would enhance intervention efficacy.”

  1. Are we satisfied with the literature review?

Was there one?  Technically, lots of stats about teen sexuality and statements about the beliefs surrounding reduction methods obviously came from cited literature.  Resources were synthesized to make the introductory arguments surrounding the need for the research.  However, I would not say this amounted to a formal literature review.

Questions 10- 16 are to be answered using the first 3 paragraphs of the Methods section: Participants, Procedures, and Experimental Conditions

  1. Describe what we know about our participants.

Quoting the article, “The participants were 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7.”  They live in low-income, African-American communities, in the northeastern United States.

  1. What three approvals were explicitly stated as needed for each student to participate?

Students needed written parent or guardian approval to participate.  And the Institutional Review Board of the University of Pennsylvania and the Research Ethics Board of the University of Waterloo approved the study.

  1. What approval was implied but not stated?

The approval of the participating middle schools was implied but not stated.

  1. How do the authors define who is African American?

They don’t.  They simply state that their participants are African-American, and that they were recruited from middle schools that serve low-income, urban, African-American communities.

  1. What does it mean to stratify the study population by age and sex(gender)?

This means they separated the students into these categories, for the purpose of assuring that age and genders would be evenly randomized across all interventions.

  1. What is the importance of randomly assigning the students to the four experimental groups?

It’s important to randomly assign students to the four groups so that results cannot be attributed to the makeup of the group.

  1. What are the four experimental groups?

The four experimental groups were an 8-hour abstinence only, an 8-hour safer-sex only, an 8-hour comprehensive, and a 12-hour comprehensive.  The fifth group was the control, an 8-hour health-risk reduction program unrelated to sexual activity.

Questions 17 to 19 are to be answered using the next 3 paragraphs of the Methods section: Abstinence-Only, Safer Sex, and Comprehensive Interventions.

  1. What are the 3 main areas of education targeted by the Abstinence-Only Intervention?

The three main areas of education include increasing HIV/STI knowledge, strengthening beliefs supporting abstinence, and increasing skills to negotiate abstinence.

  1. Do you think this variable was appropriately operationalized?

I don’t.  The authors state that the program was not designed to meet federal criteria for abstinence-only programs.  If the point of the study is to determine if federal funding of abstinence education is justified by efficacy, then the efficacy of the programs meeting federal criteria need to be studied, not the efficacy of some other program the researchers created which would not likely ever be implemented.

  1. How do the authors feel that have improved upon the traditional operationalization?

I think the authors feel they have minimized the risks to participants of participating in the study, by changing the traditional operationalization.  However, in doing so, they aren’t actually researching the problem they set out to research.

Questions 20 to 23 are to be answered using the next three paragraphs of the Methods section: Health-Promotion Control Intervention, Intervention-Maintenance Program and Facilitators and Facilitator Training

  1. What the heck is a Hawthorne effect? Is Hawthorne Bradley’s friend?

The Hawthorne effect is also known as the observer effect.  It relates to the possibility that results can be affected by the participant’s awareness of being observed.  In this study, it relates to “the likelihood that effects of the HIV interventions could be attributed to nonspecific features including group interactions and special attention.”   Yes, the Hawthorne effect is related to the Bradley effect, as the Bradley effect also relies on the participant’s awareness of being observed when surveyed, and anonymity when actually voting.

  1. Why are the authors worried about the Hawthorne effect and are controlling for it?

They are worried that participants might perceive social advantages to participation in the program, and that this perception might influence their behavior, affecting outcomes.

  1. Why are the facilitators mostly women? How did the one Puerto Rican get selected? Why are the facilitators African American?

These questions were not answered in the article.  But because the authors state that they “hired facilitators with the skills to implement any of the of the interventions, it’s likely they recruited teachers from the participating schools.  The facilitators are African-American so that participants can better relate to and trust the provided information.  And also, probably, because they have recruited teachers from the participating schools, which are more likely to have many African-American teachers.  Teachers are also more likely to be female.

  1. Why have the facilitators been randomized and stratified?

Facilitators must also be randomized so that ages and genders don’t influence outcomes.

Questions 24 to 28 are to be answered by Outcomes and Social Desirability Response Measure

  1. How was the data collected in this study? One method was used in three different ways. What was the method and what are the three ways?

Data was collected by questionnaire before the program, immediately after the program, and at regular longer-term periods over two years.

  1. Over what period?

Between January 2002 and August 2004.

  1. What is the purpose of a pilot study?

The purpose of a pilot study is to ensure the validity of the questions.  In this case, to “ensure that (the questions) were clear, and that the phrasing was appropriate for the population.”

  1. What are the data collectors blind to? Why?

Data collectors were blind to which program each participant attended.  This is to ensure that the collectors’ biases don’t influence their collection methods and thereby the results.

  1. What is your assessment of the authors’ attempt to control for the Bradley effect?

I can’t imagine how their efforts could have any significant influence.  While certainly, if individuals are going to guess in response to research questions, of course they’re going to do so in a socially desirable manner, purely without intent.  However, I don’t believe it’s possible for people to self-report behavior honestly.  They simply don’t remember accurately, even if they’re certain that they do, unless the question addresses immediate single instances of behavior (did you have sex last night?) rather than multiple instances over a longer term, no matter how recent (how many times did you have sex in the last week?)  It just isn’t possible these answers are going to be accurate.  Visually defining the time frame with calendars, and stressing the importance of accuracy makes no difference.

Question 29 is to be answered using the section Sample Size and Statistical Analysis

  1. What reasons did the authors give for choosing these statistical methods? 

Honestly, I have no idea how to interpret the word salad that comprises this section.  But if I were to guess, it would have to do with “analyz(ing) attrition,” testing “intervention effects,” “the efficacy of the HIV interventions” and/or correcting for error, and deciding what results would indicate significance.

Questions 30 to 31 are to be answered using the first two paragraphs and Table 2 of the Results Section.

  1. What are the independent variables? What are the dependent variables?

The independent variables are the education sessions.  The dependent variables are the number of times the girls had sex afterward, and the behaviors that might have changed as a result.

  1. What are some of the reasons a student, average age of 12, would participate in this study? Remember this is Bookstein’s first concern of his three concerns related to surveys/questionnaires/volunteering for studies.  

Plainly, they were all paid to attend.   Participants were not highly invested in the outcome, beyond just showing up to collect the payment, and this fact might skew the results.  It’s possible, though unlikely, that the participants are interested in the information.  The subject is somewhat taboo, and that fact might compel their participation.  Pressure from parents and teachers might also compel participation, and also skew results, out of fear of observation.

Question 32 is to be answered using the final four paragraphs of the Results section.

  1. What are the primary outcomes or effects on the dependent variables (hint sexual behaviors) CAUSED BY the independent variables (hint the different types of intervention programs).

Per Table 3, abstinence-only intervention caused participants to delay having sex longer than other groups.

Per the last four paragraphs of the results section:

“Abstinence-only intervention participants did not differ from the control group in reports of multiple partners.  Participants in the 8-hour and 12-hour comprehensive intervention groups were significantly less likely to report having multiple partners than were those in the control group. No other differences were statistically significant.  None of the interventions had significant effects on consistent condom use or unprotected intercourse.”

In other words, abstinence-only intervention did not affect any of the of the other behaviors.  Comprehensive intervention showed a decrease in the number of partners.

Questions 33 to 34 are to be answered using the Comment section.

  1. Looking at the last sentence of the first paragraph, answering these two questions. What is the gap in the literature these authors are claiming to have filled? Why do the authors use the word “demonstrate” rather than “prove?”

The gap in the literature is the lack of randomized controlled trials.  The authors use the word “demonstrate” rather than “prove” because any self-reported response is not objective, and therefore cannot be considered proof.

  1. Looking at paragraph three, where dear reader would you have liked to have been provided with citations to other research studies to back up the authors statements?

I would have liked citations provided for the first and third sentences, “A common shortcoming of health behavior change is….” and “Although many trials have used booster intervention sessions, this one of few trials….”

Questions 35 to 40 are to be answered looking both at the final paragraphs of the Comment section and the NY Times (if it’s fit to print) Editorial.

  1. Does the Times piece mention the fact that this study would not meet the Federal criteria for the very abstinence program the President cut? 

The Times piece does mention that the program in this study differs from the federally-supported programs.  However, it does not mention that it would not meet the federal criteria.

  1. What do the authors say are the limitations of the study? Are these limitations mentioned in the Times?

The limitations include self-reported data, the “relatively small number of sexually active adolescents,” and the “limited generalizability of the results.”  The editorial does not mention these limitations.

  1. Does anyone else find it interesting that national policy could be influenced by a study that “MAY BE” generalizable only to African American students in grades 6 and 7 who are willing to participate in a health promotion project on the weekends? Who by the way don’t seem to that interested in sex in the first place?

The publishing journal, the Archiives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, ran an editorial cautioning against such policy setting, along with the article.

  1. What or who are the communities that support abstinence only approaches? Why do you think the authors do not mention who these mysterious communities are? Would you like to see at least some citations to other studies here?

Political organizations that receive funding for running abstince-only programs support these approaches.  They are not mentioned in the editorial because it is designed to sway public opinion toward their cause.  Of course, citations are always ideal.

  1. Why did the national press run wild with this story?

The press sensationalized this story because it goes against popular opinion, and they have an agenda to push.

  1. Did they run with it responsibly? 

You would imply there’s such a thing as a responsible press?  There might have been at one point in time.  No longer.  No, they did not run with it responsibly.  To do so, they would have had to reveal the flaws in the study, which they did not do.

  1. What role should librarians play in helping their constituents develop research literacy skills?

Librarians can assist in evaluating resources, and provide instruction on doing so.  I can’t imagine this being done on an individual basis very often.  Classes might provide a better opportunity, with examples like this one, to teach the subtleties of evaluating research.