The development and validation of the Library Anxiety Scale
All college students at some time during their college career must use the library, which may be a source of state anxiety. Mellon (1986) developed a qualitative theory of library anxiety which states student's fears about using the library seriously impede their ability to function effectively in that setting. This theory had not been tested quantitatively, as an instrument that measured library anxiety had not been developed. The purpose of this study was to determine if a valid and reliable instrument could be developed that measured library anxiety in college students regardless of age, gender, and educational level.
In order to create this instrument and determine its validity and reliability, the researcher developed a list of key components from a search of relevant literature and consultation with experts in the field of library science. Following initial validation of these key components as contributors of library anxiety, 294 statements were developed that focused on them. This pilot instrument was completed by 281 students at different levels in college programs. A factor analysis was conducted on the responses to the pilot test with 88 statements retained for use in a second pilot study. This instrument was then completed by 415 students. A factor analysis performed on the data derived from this study reduced the number of statements to 43.
The finalized instrument consisting of the 43 statements was administered to 69 students including 22 community college, 31 private college undergraduate, and 16 public university graduate students. The instrument was completed by these students twice, with the second administration approximately two to three weeks following the initial completion. A final factor analysis on the first test by the 69 students yielded five factors that accounted for 51.8% of the variation in library anxiety. Internal consistency using a Cronbach's alpha was determined to be.80 for the 43 items. Test-retest reliability for the instrument was.74 for the entire instrument.
The instrument did not discriminate among the students by educational level or gender, but did discriminate by age of the students with those over 50 having the highest levels of anxiety as measured by the Library Anxiety Scale.
0745: Higher education
0288: Educational evaluation