Issues and challenges facing school libraries : a case study of selected primary schools in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Paton-Ash, Margaret Sanderson (2012) Issues and challenges facing school libraries : a case study of selected primary schools in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Fewer than 8% of schools in South Africa have functioning libraries. There is no national policy for school libraries which compels School Governing Bodies and principals to have a library in their schools. This qualitative study, based on grounded theory, investigated ten primary schools in Gauteng that had libraries, or were in the process of setting up a library with the intention of providing a rich description of the issues and challenges facing these schools. The schools were chosen on the basis of location (Soweto and Johannesburg), and the school fees that were paid in a continuum from low/no fee paying schools to the fee paying ex Model-C schools. The resourcing of the school library, the operation of the school library and the role of the library were examined. The findings highlight the lack of a national policy, of school library posts, the theft of computers as a result of the lack of security, as well as the lack of understanding by teachers of the role the library in teaching and learning. Furthermore, there appears to be a disjuncture between the trends evident in the international literature on school libraries and what is actually happening in the primary school libraries in my study. Most significantly low/no fee paying schools with libraries were the exception and those that did have libraries were as a result of the enthusiasm and efforts of one or two individuals with the backing of the principal. Ex-Model C schools had the advantage in terms of the provision and staffing of school libraries as they had the funds to support them and, in some cases, a school librarian, provided that the principal supported the idea of a school library. In all the schools, the belief in the importance of the library regarding reading and literacy was the main motivating factor in establishing or maintaining the school library. A growing public awareness of the value of school libraries was an encouraging trend that emerged from my study.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:School libraries, South Africa, Gauteng, Library planning
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Wilmot, Di and Irwin, Pat
ID Code:3315
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:06 Sep 2012 10:39
Last Modified:06 Sep 2012 10:39
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