Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)


Library and Information Science


Geoffrey Z. Liu


book display, circulation, classic literature, middle schools, school libraries

Subject Areas

Library science


Librarians often keep classic books in school libraries because the books have educational merits, yet they are rarely checked out for recreational reading. Current research on low circulation of classic literature in school libraries is limited to anecdotal evidence from school and young adult librarians suggesting that lack of promotion and especially the inferior condition of old editions contribute to low circulation. This research fills the gap by examining the effect of new editions and display on circulation in a field experimental study at a middle school library in 2011.

Set up as 2 X 2 factorial design, the field experiment had four experimental groups: old edition shelved, old edition displayed, new edition shelved, and new edition displayed. Twenty books -- ten new editions, ten old editions, and all of different titles -- were used for the study, with half in each category randomly chosen for displaying on bookstands at the end of a shelf. Circulation statistics were collected for these books over a period of three months. Although statistical analysis revealed no significant impact, further examination of the experimental data seemed to suggest that new edition and display in combination may increase circulation of classic titles and that books with quality cover art and informative summaries are most likely to circulate.