…because “Spring” just doesn’t cut it. The pictures of snow from earlier 2009 entries of this blog may have been the only times we had ANY precipitation last winter/ spring. One or two times, maybe. This year, though, I feel like it’s snowed at least three times a week in Arvaikheer since October– often to extreme accumulation and at winds that would emasculate Zeus. Our stateside/ western European cliche associations of rebirth and renewel with Spring simply do not hold up here. Spring is at least 85% miserable.

April snowstorms bring May…something better, hopefully.

That said, I managed to snap some shots of a beautiful, if terribly cold, day this past week while walking around.

Actually, upon review, these pictures make everything look pretty dismal. Sorry.

The wind was so insane the other night that the fence dividing my hashaa from our neighbors’ was completely destroyed. Poor Ding Dong must have been so scared when it came down, but he soon discovered the ruined fence to be a good shelter during the snowstorms (which, I’m told, may let up tomorrow. It’s supposed to be 70 F. My immune system is going to need some quieting down after the heinous vicissitudes of this season).

M’lil boy!

In other news, the library is coming along nicely. Still trying to work out the kinks, label books, catalog the collections, find more books, etc. The strains of springtime are taking their toll on progress, just as they did in my former place of work last year, but I think it’s going ok. Here are some updated photos:

Dig that Monglish on the chalkboard. I certainly do.

We may not have many books (a few steps back from these points of view and the bottom shelves are more visible in their barren states), but seeing these kids come in and browse and pleasure read in their own school for the first time is probably the most rewarding aspect of my service to date.

I even had some kids come and volunteer to help me catalog and organize the books. This was great– the more kids directly involved in the setup process, the fewer instances of theft we’ll have down the line. These kids will want to protect and preserve the things they’ve worked hard to start long after I’m gone.

Book theft from libraries is a big issue in this country, where student-friendly libraries are rare and books are normally locked behind closed doors or only available through a small window guarded by a librarian. Browsing is almost never an option. In fact, and I don’t know if I mentioned this in a previous entry or not so I’ll just repeat it, I ran into this problem while working on a similar project at my former place of work (the university). I secured permission to move all of the English books from behind closed doors to the English Club room in an effort to set it up as a student-run library. My supervisor, who had given me the go-‘head,  then went to all of my coworkers and said, “you are not only forbidden from helping him with this project, but you will also turn over any and all private books you are keeping in your classroom shelves to be locked away with the others.” Including some that I’d personally ordered from an NGO in America. I’m happy I haven’t encountered anything like that since.

The fear of student ‘bibliokleptomania’ (you like that? I invented it.) actually spurs theft on in that sense; granted, it’s also a problem in the States, but not to the extent that it is here. And I have to believe it’s because the students here are not brought up in a scholastic environment where books are there for them to browse and read freely without having to go through strict intermediaries in user-unfriendly spaces. This is what we’re trying to combat at my school. Word is spreading, too; I had a woman come up to me the other day and say, “I hear you’re setting up a library at Merged School…and that you’re not locking the books up?!

I haven’t seen a single one stolen yet, so I think we’re doing the right thing.

The following is completely unrelated, but I figure I’d share. When I load photos onto this thing from my mac, I have the file browser window and a photo preview program open. I scroll through the photo previews to find non-blurry images that suit the text and enter their file numbers into the blog’s file search bar. When I put the file number into the search bar, sometimes two photo files with the same number come up as listed on my hard drive. This is because I switched cameras about three years ago, and some of the old ones are still  on here. So, when I was choosing photos for this entry, these blasts from the past came up as duplicate file numbers:

Me and the best friend at a hookah bar in Maryland, like, sixty-five million years ago

Dad looking dapper at a sushi place, also from the Late Cretaceous Period (LCP)

And my beautiful mom at the same restaurant. I actually used both of these parental images in a PowerPoint during a recent menu layout and restaurant design training. The audience thought they were really pretty  people.

It’s nice to reflect on two or more very different periods of my life via photos every time I update this thing. It makes me happy that I haven’t yet gone on a crazed hard drive space-clearing purge to make room for other stuff.

Anyway, that’s all for now. More later.


Libraries and Teeth

April 14, 2010

Welcome, friends, to a speedy and cheerful post.

I just wanted to upload a few pictures of our recent Annual Fifth Grade English Alphabet Celebration, of our new library in progress, and of some satisfying cosmetic dentistry.

To give you a little background, many primary schools around the country choose a random day in the Spring to celebrate the English alphabet. I’m not quite sure how it’s done in other places, but the kids at my school were each assigned a letter of the alphabet to use in a group recital. After all saying a phrase with alliteration corresponding to their letters, they sang songs and performed short skits. My counterpart handled most of the assigning and rehearsing. She chose to take lines straight from a Mongolian-written kindergarten alphabet workbook, so the kids were made to recite strange things like,”‘A’ is for ‘apple.’ Draw an amazing apple,” or  “‘B’ is for ‘boys’ and ‘balls.’ Boys play balls. Draw a boy and balls.” [And the latter is a direct quote.] I explained to her why this wouldn’t make sense, but she said the audience wouldn’t speak English so it didn’t matter.

The kids sang the ABC song, “London Bridges,” “You Are My Sunshine,” and a few other notable nursery rhymes. When rehearsing, my counterpart had the kids practice “Ten Little Indian Boys.” I explained to her that it’s not necessarily an appropriate song and has been left out of the nursery rhyme scheme for a long time due to its insensitivity to Native Americans. She said she would take it out of the lineup. When it was showtime, however, she had the boys line up, sing the song, and then tap their open palms against their mouths while making stereotypical Native American sounds and dancing in a circle. Afterward, they sang a song about” The Lord,” which never happened during rehearsal. I point the finger at the temporary volunteers, whose nationality and umbrella organization will remain unspecified, who came here last summer and left some pretty questionable song books in a local library. Thanks guys. ❤

Anyway, the kids were adorable. I had them perform three-kid acts from a hypercondensed ESL version of Aesop’s Fables that I found on the internet. They all dressed up as foxes and crows and rabbits and delivered adorable performances. As I don’t have any pictures of their skits, I’ll leave you with some photos of the chaos leading up to the show:

The kids lined up at the top of the stairs, which is our makeshift stage.

I was surprise-forced to announce awards and superlatives to the fifth grade class in front of our Mongolian audience without any preparation. Completely in Formal-Announcer-Mongolian, which can be slightly different. It was pretty funny. Sorry I don’t have better pictures. I did, however, manage to catch a glimpse of this magical Chinese copyright infringement during the show:

Onto other things! Our library is finally under way. They moved the fitness room to another location and stripped the nasty carpet up, put a bunch of huge wooden tables in, and commissioned a glass partition to be put up to separate the stacks from the English Corner. The room is about half the size of the primary school’s first floor! It’s already attracting students and faculty who are tired of failing to carve out some semblance of concentration in the insanely loud classrooms and hallways. Take a look at the room in progress:

Some kids already using the space!

So, shameless plug time. As you may know, getting stateside bookstores and organizations to pledge books to projects like this is easy as pie. Shipping them, however, is something that most parties seem to be terrified of. I can’t really put my mailing address here… so some of you will get it in a reminder email about my updated post. If other readers are interested, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can privately send you the address.

And now, for a dental update. Last year I chipped my right front tooth on a pint glass. I finally had it sanded and fixed this past week in UB. (I also used the opportunity to grab a whiteboard and several hundred Mongolian-to-foreign-language dictionaries for the library.) Peep my new look!



See? Glory. It was a five minute procedure. I’m a happy boy. More later.

Library Project

January 21, 2010

Hello to everyone who reads this thing! I’m posting the proposal from the library renovation project I mentioned in a recent post. My counterparts and I have been working on it for a few months now and trying to secure funding, and some parties have expressed interest in giving material support of one kind or another. We’re trying really hard to get this thing done before I leave for good in July. (Fyi, the school is pronounced “Mer-ged”, and not like the English word “merged”).  The formatting is a bit strange from the paste-in, but check it out anyway:

Refurbished Library Project Proposal


Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language

Arvaikheer Soum

Uvurkhangai Aimag

Project Facilitators:

B. Unurbayn, English Language Department Team Leader

Z. Zolzaya, English instructor

Oyunirden, English instructor

Patrick Hamilton, English instructor

D Dulamsuren, Japanese instructor.

S. Erdenbileg, Director

Chimeddorj-Oedov, Network specialist

Executive Summary

Students at Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language were forced to leave their former school facilities last April due to structural concerns, and the new buildings were not large enough to accommodate both classrooms and space for the contents of the previous library. Even when the old library was operational, its resources and accessibility  fell short of students’ and teachers’ requirements. Recent renovations and the upcoming completion of a new and larger building have opened up new space for a refurbished library, and the faculty and students are very excited at the prospect.

We intend to open a new library in order to restore independent learning and pleasure reading to the routines of the student body and to continue to improve on the general quality of education at Merged. Part of this process will be to engage our enthusiastic upperclassmen in a student-librarian program that will maximize student control and participation in the management and usage of library resources. Not only will involving students in the program bring them closer to their learning materials, but it will also ensure project sustainability in the future.

Needs assessment conducted among the student population has yielded results that are in overwhelming support of the construction of this library [see Appendix 1]. The available resources at Merged have already enabled us to begin work on the library, and schools and organizations overseas have already pledged their material support in the form of over 1,000 books. With the proper funding to acquire the remaining necessary items, and with careful monitoring and evaluation through frequent surveys and checks carried out among students and teachers, the full educational potential of our library can be reached.

The implementation of the new Library will serve as a tremendous improvement for all of the departments at Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language. This project will increase student involvement and hands-on participation in library resource management, encourage the use of new electronic learning tools, and promote extracurricular activities, research, and pleasure reading in an open study area and in the home. The augmentation of our book collection in a brand new space will bring a level of sophistication and student-control to the scholastic culture of Merged that will surely contribute to its national reputation and bring new opportunities to its much deserving pupils.

Total Project Cost: 5,141,000 MNT— $4,284.17 USD

Community Contribution: 3,506,000 MNT—$2,921.67 USD

Funding Request: 1,635,000— $1,362.50 USD

Project Background

The Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language in Uvurkhangai has maintained a competitive position in Mongolian education since it opened to Arvaikheer’s students in 1998. The school offers clean, well-equipped facilities to students from kindergarten- to eleventh-grade on tracks in math, science, and/ or foreign languages. These students have historically ranked among the top in national standardized tests and competitions—particularly in the areas of Mathematics, English, and Japanese.

This year, however, the old secondary school building was abandoned due to structural problems and its students were moved to the newer building. The school’s library remained in the old building, and all of its rather limited contents have been locked away and unavailable to students since last April. When 400 Merged students from grades five through eleven were given a survey to determine the necessity and intended usage for a new library space with more books, 64% of the students purported to have used the library on a regular basis prior to the abandonment of the old building  (see Appendix 1).  Merged teachers are therefore concerned that losing the library will hinder their students’ ability to use school resources to go deeper into the subjects they are studying or to continue research on their own.

There is also no longer a place for them to study or browse through books between classes, and nowhere for them to use computers.  In the same survey, students reported that having a quiet place to study in the building between classes and after school was the most important aspect they hoped to enjoy in a new library [see Figure 6]. Over 94% of students reported that they would make regular use of a library if it were to be refurbished, and 82.5% expressed that they would be interested in participating in a student-librarian program designed to help the student population have more hands-on involvement in library resource management [see Appendix 1] [see figure 2].

Renovations being carried out at the newer building have created new opportunities for infrastructural improvements, and the school is enthusiastic about the prospect of converting a large room for teachers into a student-centered library containing books in Mongolian, English, Japanese, and Russian, in addition to children’s books, books on physics, history, science, mathematics, and test preparation. Our director and training manager have already offered a space for the new library and helped to divide the responsibilities of setting it up among members of the faculty.

Many of the resources required for finishing the new library are already available at the school, including computers and other electronic learning tools. Additionally, electronic resources in several languages—Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, and German—were acquired by the school and will encourage students to take the initiative to learn independently through pleasure reading and browsing to build new language skills [see Figure 5].

Goals and Objectives

1. To increase the amount of available learning resources at the school

Objective 1.1. Acquire books in several languages for all the subjects offered at Merged

Objective 1.2. Set up electronic learning resources (language software, Internet, movies, cds, etc.) and their corresponding technologies in the library for open student usage

2. To encourage students to utilize a variety of learning tools for any subject

Objective 2.1. Hold tutorial sessions on library technology and book borrowing protocol

Objective 2.2. Integrate scheduled library usage into each class group curriculum

3. To encourage out-of-class learning and to provide students with a space for scholastic and extracurricular activities

Objective 3.1. Advertise and maintain open study hours throughout the week

Objective 3.2. Advertise and recruit for clubs and organizations to be held in the library (foreign language clubs, math and science clubs, book clubs, etc.)

4. To improve the quality of language education at the school

Objective 4.1. Provide a centralized location for students to hone their language skills in all of the languages offered at our school via software, the use of written resources, Internet, electronic media, and contact with other students

Objective 4.1. Provide a wide array of resources in languages not offered at the school in order to help students who wish to learn other languages

5. To allow students a place to study and have total control over the information at their disposal in a quiet, user-friendly   learning environment

Objective 5.1. Keep the library open from the time school starts to the time it ends

Objective 5.2. Keep library resources and facilities accessible and student-centered

6. To develop students’ and instructors’ comfort in using and maintaining library resources

Objective 6.1. Create a sustainable part-time rotating student-librarian program which would maximize student involvement in the initiation and  continuation of the library

Objective 6.2. Train student librarians in assisting library users with library resources

Project Description

With a combination of support from the Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language and resources from The Asia Foundation, we will go to UB to secure books in Mongolian, English, Japanese, and Russian, in addition to children’s books, books on physics, history, science, mathematics, and test preparation. While in the city, we will also use acquired funds to purchase the necessary repair materials, a rug, and whiteboards for the room. Upon returning to Arvaikheer, the books we secure will be kept in our storage facility until the language faculty, carpenters, and student volunteers have finished setting up the library’s furnishings. Carpenter Ts. Baatar will be commissioned to build five large shelves and three large desks.

We will then transfer the previously acquired electronic learning resources to each of the five computers in the new room and hold student librarian managerial elections. Ten students from our Merged tenth- and eleventh-grade volunteer pool will fill daily library-monitoring shifts of three periods each, Monday through Friday (five student-librarians per day with rotation). One library manager will be elected during this time to help oversee the creation and maintenance of the librarian schedule, to aid in the training of student librarians in the checking out of books and software usage, and to ensure student librarian responsibility.

In training the student librarians, Oyunirden, Unurbayn, and Zolzaya will hold three sessions during the second week of the first month to instruct the volunteer librarians on how to keep books catalogued and record book transactions, how to monitor student library usage, how to log hours, and how to assist class groups who have come to carry out their research and class activities. We will also get the assistants acquainted with the accompanying electronic learning resources, with anti-viral software acquisition and implementation, and with computer hardware. This part of the process will involve hands-on usage of the facilities and simple demonstrations, followed by a short quiz to test their knowledge on the material covered.

The final step in this project will be the process of familiarizing the teachers and students of our school with the library facilities and integrating its usage into their curricula. Each of the instructors at Merged will take his or her individual class groups to the library, and these groups will take turns occupying the library for the completion of research projects and class activities on rotating schedules throughout the week.  Debriefing meetings will be held on Fridays between faculty facilitators and student librarians to monitor the success of the project and to discuss new ideas and improvements.

The recent construction at Merged has created a competition for space inside the newer building, and therefore securing a set and accessible library room for the students will provide them with a place to organize into more extracurricular clubs and activities without having to work against the busy schedule of lessons in other classrooms. Students will be able to maintain consistent English Club, Japanese Club, Chinese Club, Poetry Club, Internet Club, and Book Club meetings in the new library while at the same time having immediate access to the materials they may need during club meetings.

Among the more beneficial aspects of creating this new library will be the peer-tutoring program we have already begun to organize. The library will provide young learners with the opportunity to improve on their studies not only through independent research, but also through scheduled tutoring hours with advanced students in every subject. This, paired with the aforementioned student librarian program, will set the stage for a new level of student responsibility and preparedness for the time after graduation.

Action Plan Summary

Action Facilitator(s) Time frame
Acquire language books from Asia Foundation, etc Zolzaya, Patrick Week 4, Month 1
Book categorization and cataloguing Patrick, Senior students Week 4, Month 1
Acquire room materials Erdenbileg, Zolzaya, Patrick Week 4, Month 1
Room layout and set-up Zolzaya, Patrick, senior students Week 1, Month 2
Language software computer transfer Oedov, Patrick Week 2, Month 2
Student librarian and managerial elections Oyunirden, Unurbayn, Zolzaya, Week 2, Month 2
Training of student librarians and creation of librarian rotating schedule Patrick, Unurbayn Week 2, Month 2
Implementation of student librarian program Unurbayn, Zolzaya, Oyunirden, Patrick Weeks 3-4, Month 2
Software training, internet set-up, and integration of the library into department curricula Oedov, Oyunirden, Unurbayn, Patrick, Zolzaya Week 4, Month 2
Monitoring and Evaluation (logs, surveys, quizzes and exams, etc.) Student Librarians, Unurbayn Weeks 1-4, Month 3

Potential Library Usage Breakdown

The following is a hypothetical weekly lineup of activities and scheduled usage periods for the library:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

(student librarian 1)

10b class research time Open study Mongolian Language track research time Physics track research time Open study
8:40-9:20 (student librarian 1) Open study 9A English  class research time 11b English class research time Open study Open study
9:25-10:05 (student librarian 1) 10A English class research time 9b English class research time 11A English class research time Open study Open study
10:15-10:55 (student librarian 2) Open study Open study Physics track research time History track research time English read-aloud time with primary students 3
10:55-11:35 (student librarian 2) Electronic resource tutoring time Internet Club Open study English read-aloud time with primary students 2 History track research time
11:40-12:20 (student librarian 2) Open study Open study English read-aloud time with primary students 1 Open study Open study
12:20-1:00 student librarian 3 Open study Open study Open study 8a Japanese language research time 5A, b English class research time
1:00-1:55 (student librarian 3) Mongolian Language class research time 8b English Class research time 7a Japanese class research time 8b Japanese language research time 6A, b English class research time
1:55-2:35 student librarian 3 7g English class research time 7b English class research time 7b Japanese class research time Open study Open study
2:40-3:20 (student librarian 4) Chinese Club Open study time Japanese Club Open study Book Club
3:30-4:10 (student librarian 4) Open study English Club Test preparation assistance hour Russian Club Foreign Language Peer Tutoring
4:10-4:50 (student librarian 4) Poetry Club 10A Japanese   class research time Open study Open study Maths and Sciences Peer Tutoring
4:55-5:35 (student librarian 5) Foreign Language Peer Tutoring 10b Japanese class research time Japanese Movie Night Open study Open study
5:35-6:15 (student librarian 5) Maths and Sciences Peer Tutoring open study Open study English Movie Night
6:15-6:55 (student librarian 5) Open study Open study Open study Teachers’ English Club Open study


Integration of the library into Merged curricula will provide students with continued access to reference materials, electronic learning resources, foreign language books and software,  and pleasure reading toward a general improvement of the quality of education at the school.  Eleventh-grade students involved in the management and monitoring of the room will be in charge of assisting the faculty facilitators in recruiting and co-training new student librarians and managers for the following year prior to leaving Merged. Incumbent tenth-grade student librarians can also choose to run for the position again for their final year of school.

Current enthusiasm among students of all ages at Merged suggests that such a project, if designed and implemented according to plan, would be willingly and responsibly continued into the future despite potential volunteer absence [see Appendix 1]. Tenured faculty involvement is also very strong with this project, and that tends to be a main factor in the future continuation of, or disregard for, such endeavors.

Risks and Mitigations

As mentioned earlier, competition for teaching space is rising among teachers in the midst of the recent construction projects going on at Merged. However, our director and training manager are extremely adamant about the conversion of the current teacher’s lounge into a permanent library, and this should prevent any other parties from attempting to take over the space.


Refurbished Library Cost Evaluation

Item qty Unit Cost Total Cost Requested Funds (MNT) Arvaikheer
(MNT) (MNT) Community Contribution (MNT)
Books / 0 0 0 0
Carpet (rug) 2 50,000 100,000 0 100,000
Chairs 15 28,000 420,000 0 420,000
Couches 1 450,000 450,000 450,000 0
Large desks 3 60,000 180,000 0 180,000
Desktop computers 5 500,000 2,500,000 0 2,500,000
Dvd player 1 30,000 30,000 30,000 0
DVD’s / 0 0 0 0
Electrical outlet installation (renovation) 1 50,000 50000 0 50,000
Facilitator’s desk 1 45,000 45,000 45,000 0
Flooring (renovation) 1 400,000 400,000 400,000 0
Headphones 4 10,000 40,000 40,000 0
Internet (installation) 1 120,000 120,000 0 120,000
Keys 5 1,000 5,000 0 5,000
Paint (renovation) 5 5,000 25,000 0 25,000
Posters 10 5,000 50,000 0 50,000
Shelves 5 50,000 250,000 250,000 0
Software / 0 0 0 0
21” TV 1 300,000 300,000 300,000 0
UB Transport for Zolzaya and Patrick 2 28,000 56,000 0 56,000
Whiteboard/ 2 60,000 120,000 120,000 0
Total Cost (MNT) 5,141,000 1,635,000 3,506,000
Total Cost (USD) $4,284.17 $1,362.50 $2,921.67

Funds Management:

An alternate joint account at Khaan Bank will be opened in Zolzaya’s and PCV Patrick Hamilton’s names. All funds will be directly transferred to this account. Proof of requisite amounts for specific items, including the furnishing materials and technological resources stated previously, will be recorded by Zolzaya and Patrick during the purchase of said items.

Resources Available at Merged

Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language is willing to provide the space for our library, to cover the cost of Internet and concurrent monthly fees to be installed on our computers, of a rug, of large desks, of chairs, electrical outlet repair, and of foreign language posters for the walls. It is also willing to cover the cost of transportation to and from Ulaanbaatar for resource acquisition for Zolzaya and Patrick. We have the proper electronic learning tools at our disposal, and the school already has some books and materials in the old library.

All available computers were purchased by the school. Desks and chairs will be commissioned from a local carpenter, Ts. Baatar.

The Barnesville School in Buckeystown, Maryland, has donated a shipment of 1,000 elementary English language books to our Merged Library. These books will arrive in mid- to late-January. The local government of Okayama, Japan, will also be donating a shipment of Japanese language books and CD’s by the end of January 2010.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Visitor satisfaction surveys will be placed on the facilitator’s desk in the library, and all users will be encouraged to fill one out before leaving the library [see Appendix 2]. This data will be compiled and discussed at weekly student librarian debriefing meetings with members of the faculty project staff. Mandatory post-setup completion surveys will also be distributed to all of the students making use of the facilities via their respective instructors after the first month (and every other month for the first year) to gauge their levels of satisfaction with the facilities and student librarians, involvement in library extracurricular activities and clubs, personal achievement standards, number of books checked out, and frequency of personal and/or extracurricular use [see appendix 4]. Weekly quizzes, personal interviews, and monthly exams will be given on the specific material covered during lessons conducted in the library or for lessons that made use of library materials and/or resources. The survey process will be repeated with addenda at the end of the year to evaluate overall faculty and student satisfaction.


Monitoring Question Source of Information Method(s) of Acquiring Information Responsibility Timeframe/ Frequency
What is the level of student satisfaction with the new facilities? Student library users Surveys available at library facilitator’s desk, compiled and discussed at student librarian debriefing meetings; student interaction with librarians Unurbayn, Student


Once weekly
What is the level of student satisfaction with student librarians? Student library users Surveys available at library facilitator’s desk, compiled and discussed at student librarian debriefing meetings Unurbayn, Student librarians *Librarians can ask library users to fill out a survey before they leave at any time
Are students making good use of the library outside of class? Student librarians Student librarian observations, discussed at student librarian debriefing meetings Unurbayn, Student librarians Once weekly


Evaluation Question Source of Information Method(s) of Acquiring Information Responsibility Timeframe/ Frequency
Is in-class library time having a positive influence on student performance? Teachers, Students Mandatory surveys (from students’ perspective); in-class research presentations; exams; teacher debriefing meetings; quarterly grades D Dulamsuren

Patrick Hamilton


Z. Zolzaya

B. Unurbayn

S. Erdenbileg


Monthly; end of each quarter
Are students’ foreign language abilities increasing due to room usage? Faculty, Students, competitions/ standardized tests, Exams and Quizzes Mandatory surveys (from students’ perspective); Personal Interviews; Teacher Interviews; Exam and Quiz Scores D. Dulamsuren,

Patrick Hamilton,


Z. Zolzaya,

B. Unurbayn

Monthly; end of each quarter
Are students reading more for pleasure now that the library has been open and available to them? Faculty, Student Librarians Mandatory surveys (from students’ perspective), Personal Interviews; Book Transaction Records; Student Librarian Observations Student Librarians, D. Dulamsuren,

Patrick Hamilton,


Z. Zolzaya,

B. Unurbayn

Is the number of checked-out  books increasing through library activity and social programming (extracurricular activities, info sessions, class work, etc). Student Librarians Book transaction records Student Librarians, B. Unurbayn Monthly, end of each quarter
Which clubs and extracurricular activities have been most helpful/ enjoyable? Students Mandatory surveys (from students’ perspective) Student Librarians, D. Dulamsuren,

Patrick Hamilton,


Z. Zolzaya,

B. Unurbayn

What is the most useful resource (technology or personnel) available at the library? Student Librarians Mandatory surveys (from students’ perspective) B. Unurbayn, Student Librarians Monthly

Appendix 1: Library Needs Assessment Surveys

Student Survey

Merged Advanced School for Mathematics and Foreign Language is conducting a survey to determine potential interest in the creation of a new library. Please carefully consider all questions and answer honestly.

  1. Did you ever read or study in the old library before it was closed?

Yes—256/400 = 64%            No—144/400 = 36%

  1. If the library were to be reopened at Merged, would it encourage you to read more?

Yes—377/ 400 = 94.25%       No—0 = 0%     (no answer) = 23/ 400 = 5.75%

  1. How many hours per week do you think you would make use of a new library? (Figure 1)

1—31/400 = 87.75%

2—82/400 = 20.5%

3—90/400 = 22.5%

4—58/400 = 14.5%

5—60/400 = 15%

more than 5—79/400 = 19.75%

  1. Would you be interested in participating in a student-librarian program in a new library?

Yes—330/ 400 = 82.5%          No—62/400 = 15.5%            No answer—8/400 = 2%

  1. What kinds of books would you most like to have available in a new library? (Figure 3)

Literature (Novels, Poems, Articles)—169

History books—187

Language and Grammar books—211

Math- and science-related books—180


  1. What kinds of activities would interest you in a new library space? (Figure 4)

English club—171

Chinese club—37

Japanese club—121

Book club—65

Poetry club—33

Essay writing prep—37

Peer tutoring—15

Computer club—152

Foreign songs club—68


  1. In addition to English, what other languages might you be interested in learning or improving your skills in via new library resources?  (Figure 5)









  1. What would you like to see yourself accomplish/learn/be able to do after using the new library facilities? (Figure 6)

Use new books and library resources—174

Improve communication skills—103

Develop your reading, writing, and listening skills—137

Spend more of your free time in a quiet study place—191

Improve your knowledge of how to conduct research—165


  1. In your opinion, how much would opening a new library in Merged improve your studies? (figure 2)

Very much—332/ 400 = 83%

Somewhat —39/400  = 9.75%

Not very much—8/400 = 2%

I don’t know—21/400 = 5.25%

Appendix 2: Weekly Monitoring Surveys

Library User Questionnaire

  1. How satisfied are you with the new library facilities?
    1. Very satisfied

b.  Satisfied

  1. Neutral

d.  Unsatisfied

  1. How satisfied are you with the assistance of the student librarians?
  2. Very satisfied
  3. Satisfied
  4. Neutral
  5. Unsatisfied
  1. How many hours did you spend in the library this week outside of class? (circle one).

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 or more.

Appendix 3: Monthly Evaluation Surveys and Quarterly Evaluation Guidelines

Monthly Evaluation Survey

  1. Is in-class library time having a positive influence on your studies? Yes/ No
  1. Are your foreign language abilities increasing due to room usage? Yes/ No
  1. Are you reading more for pleasure now that the library has been open and available to you? Yes/ No
  1. Which clubs and extracurricular activities have been most helpful/ enjoyable?
  1. What is the most useful resource (technology or personnel) available at the library?

Quarterly Evaluation Guidelines

Questions to Consider:

  • Is the library schedule conducive to incorporating library resource usage into class curricula?
  • Is in-class library time having a positive effect on student performance?
  • Is the number of checked-out books increasing through library activity and social programming (extracurricular activities, info sessions, class work, etc)?
  • Are students’ foreign language abilities increasing post library-setup?
  • Have students’ test scores shown changes since the opening of the new library?

Appendix 4: Figures and Charts