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While examining the designs of physical school libraries conceived by secondary school children, Sheehan found that students' preferred both human friends, teachers, librarians and electronic resources in their ideal library. The students come to libraries for more social as well as academic reasons for example reading, studying, learning, relaxing, ICT activities, school work, leisure information, ambience, wireless network, study places, exhibitions, group works, computers, collections of music and films, socializing Shilling and Cousins, ; Rafste, ; Pors, ; Shenton, Students considered the library as a 'third place' where they can gather, socialize, freely, not to behave like host, not to face any dominance and they want to go there as an escape from first home and second work places Wiegand, Fatima reported that government library plans and reports remained silent on the development of children's libraries and services.

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The existing literature on school libraries is inadequate and not up to date. As already noted, the literature Anwar, ; Khawaja, ; Haider, highlighted the basic problems of non-availability of children's literature, professional librarians and regular provision of budget as major issues of school libraries in Pakistan.

This paper is therefore devoted to investigate the conceptions or understanding of primary school children and the role of libraries in their learning. The aim of the overall study was to investigate information literacy practices in the primary schools of Lahore, Pakistan. However, this paper presents the selected findings related to conceptions of libraries and the role of school libraries, aiming to achieve the following:. This study applied a multiple qualitative case study approach to get the overall picture of the situation.

Qualitative case studies allow the researcher to look at the phenomenon through multiple lenses Stake, ; Merriam, Primary schools of Lahore, Pakistan were the potential case or cases to support study objectives. In Pakistan, schools are run by both the public and the private sector. The public schools are established and operated by government.

However, there are many types of private schools for example schools for elite economic class, schools for middle and lower middle class, community or trust schools and schools run by different organizations. Different types of schools were selected with the aim of gaining a complete picture of the situation, where access was granted.

The six accessible schools from public three schools: located in low, upper middle economic areas of the city , and private three schools: one from elite economic class, one NGO and one un-registered school sectors were selected as cases. Among six selected cases of schools, three schools had libraries.

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Out of those three libraries, one library was without librarian. To know school children's conceptions of library 12 focus groups children of grade one and two, years of age of length varying from minutes were conducted from each school. From each school case, one focus group with grade one and one from grade two was conducted. Group interviews were selected as this technique allowed children to decrease their anxiety and soon they become familiar with the researcher during the process Spratling, Coke and Minick, The children were asked about their conceptions of libraries, and those who had school libraries were asked that why they do visit library.

The focus of the study was years children as it is less researched age group in IL literature nationally and internationally. But simultaneously, literature reported that librarians should reach the children early in their lives to influence IL skills to influence the kind of adults they may become Walter, The other columns show statistics of different provinces of Pakistan. These facts directed the researcher to explore the phenomenon at early level of education as facts identifies at this level may help the decision makers at other educational levels.

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The semi-structured interviews were conducted with school librarians to know the role, services and operations of the libraries. Only two schools case three and six had librarians; interviews were conducted with librarians of length minutes. For the overall PhD study, ten school teachers were also interviewed, however only their responses related to the library and its use are included in the following sections.

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Case study encourages use of multiple sources of evidence and data collection in a natural setting; therefore observation was made during interviews and focus interviews. The researcher first author observed school environment, learning places, library and overall infrastructure where the researcher was allowed. There are a number of ways to analyze case studies' data; however Thomas suggested adopting a method which gives holistic analysis. For the present study, the researcher preferred to use Braun and Clark's approach to analyse data as it is flexible in terms of its application, and not theoretically bound like IPA Interpretative phenomenological analysis and grounded theory Braun and Clark, It can be used with different theoretical frameworks to report experiences, meanings and reality of participants.

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All interviews of librarians, teachers and focus groups of children were transcribed. Through an iterative process, descriptions of important data were transformed into more specific implications themes. The process of first and second level coding resulted in six main themes to report overall PhD study findings. However, this article will focus on only one main theme 'school libraries' out of six themes which emerged.

The findings related to conceptions of libraries, library operations, library services and library problems will be the focus of present study Figure 2. Nvivo 10 and MS Excel were used to manage and organize categories which emerged. Figure 2 shows the emergence of the main theme, school libraries. This theme mainly emerged from librarians' interviews, teachers' interviews and children's focus groups' transcripts. The observational data, field notes and photographs where school staff granted permission provided additional evidence to understand the whole situation within context.

The individual and cross case findings are discussed in the following sections:. This case was a public school located in lower economic geographic area of the city Lahore. It was mainly selected for its geographic location.

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This school was mainly boys' high school linked with primary school of mixed gender up to grade X, 15 years of age. This school had no library, however the respondents were asked about their conceptions of libraries. The researcher observed only one book rack with multiple copies of old story books Figure 3 in kids' room. This room was also utilized for data collection purpose. The class fellows of participant children were looking into the kids' room from outside, as they wanted to come in.

How to get children to use your school library

When the researcher asked them to come, they said they were not allowed to come in this room. They also explained that this room used to be locked. Only two participant children had seen a physical library and according to them a library is a reading place. The other children conceived the library as a rack of books or a cabinet of books and a place with books. Some children considered that pictures of books they had seen somewhere were libraries.

The following quotes describe their conceptions of the library: ' At my home, books of my elder sister ' Case1C1FG. All the children expressed their wish to read storybooks if they had a library in their school. The children of grade two also desired to have a library in their school. It was also public sector primary school.

The reason to choose this school is that it was one of the oldest schools, established in This school was granted autonomous status in and has its own body of board of governors. This is a boys' high school associated with mixed gender junior school primary section. This school had no library either but had a big multimedia room. The children never visited any library and they were not sure about how it looks. On further explanation, the child became silent.

One of the interesting findings in this case was that the children explained that there is a library in their school where they go daily. They mentioned that when they have time, their teacher took them to the library and they play there. They also explained that they take storybooks from library and their teacher issues books to them. In response to one question 'how do you take books from library' , one child replied. After focus groups the researcher asked the school head teacher for a library visit; she denied that the school had a library.

The head teacher said. It may be possible because one child mentioned 'LCD' when he was asked about school libraries. The researcher visited the multimedia room, it was a big room with colourful curtains, one computer was attached to a multimedia projector and benches were arranged for seating. However, it was observed that there were no books or storybooks in that room. The possible reason is that children may have heard that school libraries issue storybooks, so they mentioned this service but they never went to any physical library, therefore were not sure about library as place. The case three belonged to public sector and was girls' high school with junior school.

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This school was selected as it was located in upper middle economic geographic area of the city.