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Provision of school library resources in a changing environment


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In South Africa, after 1994 education was completely restructured with the aim to provide quality education for all. Funding for school library resources has been a financial challenge.

In South Africa, after 1994 education was completely restructured with the aim to provide quality education for all. Funding for school library resources has been a financial challenge.

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  • 1. The provision of school library resources in a changing environment: a case study from Gauteng province, South Africa Busi Dlamini and Anna Brown Diversity Challenge Resilience: School Libraries in Action - The 12th Biennial School Library Association of Queensland, the 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference, incorporating the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Brisbane, QLD Australia, 27 September – 1 October 2010.
  • 2. Content 1. Education in transition 2. Schools and school libraries in South Africa at present 3. The Gauteng Department of Education and school libraries 4. Developing school library catalogues 5. Challenges experienced and lessons learnt 6. Conclusion
  • 3. Education in transition: Before 1994 Education divided according to race Better education for Whites White schools had libraries and librarians
  • 4. Education in transition: 1994 Democracy Educational restructuring Curriculum transformation
  • 5. Education in transition: Since 1994 Disappointed hopes for school libraries Demands of curriculum not appreciated Unrealistic expectations of Internet Teacher-librarian posts abolished Libraries closed
  • 6. School libraries at present Still wide differences Quite a number of ex-white schools fund school libraries themselves Some schools in Black areas set up libraries with part-time staff Very poor reading levels a wake-up call Reluctance at national level to support school libraries Situation in Gauteng poor but better than national average
  • 7. Ex-white school
  • 8. Black school
  • 9. Crowded classroom in black school
  • 10. Temporary classrooms at overcrowded black school
  • 11. Rural school
  • 12. New school: space but no library
  • 13. Older school: library in process
  • 14. Library set up by initiative of the school
  • 15. Library set up by school in half a classroom
  • 16. GDE and school libraries: LIS Unit and Districts Manages an Education Library Responsible for school libraries in Gauteng public schools Low priority in the department Post for library facilitator at districts
  • 17. Education library in 19C school building
  • 18. Education Library
  • 19. GDE and school libraries: Funding No school library funding 1994 to 2006 Two ad-hoc allocations for central provisioning From 2007 10% of LTSM budget for school library resources
  • 20. Developing school library catalogues: need Teachers responsible for school libraries have no relevant training or experience Need support when buying resources Central acquisition for non-self- managing schools by service provider
  • 21. Developing school library catalogues: pilot project 2009 Resource guide for foundation phase Resources classified and catalogued Too time-consuming Wrong format for service provider Decision to generate spread-sheet catalogues
  • 22. Developing school library catalogues: call for submissions Resources for all school phases called for Small fee for submissions to remunerate evaluators Very large number received Some useful resources for teachers also received
  • 23. Developing school library catalogues: process Receipt, checking, recording and acknowledgement of submissions Identification and appointment of evaluators Evaluation on Saturdays Catalogue entries Checking of catalogue
  • 24. Evaluation
  • 25. Administration
  • 26. Developing school library catalogues: utilization Catalogues completed end February Exhibitions in April Catalogues distributed end April Requisitions placed in May
  • 27. Challenges and lessons Challenge: Volume of submissions Shortage of space Finding specific titles Lessons: Call only for latest resources More systematic record-keeping and organization
  • 28. Challenges and lessons Challenge: Finding suitable evaluators for all eleven official languages Lessons: Database of evaluators Source evaluators for scarce languages well ahead of time
  • 29. Challenges and lessons Challenge: Inadequate training of evaluators Some evaluation reports not useful Evaluation of content mostly good but not always of aesthetic quality Lessons: Adequate time for training evaluators More thorough training
  • 30. Challenges and lessons Challenge: Too few books for reading pleasure received Quite a number of resources that are too advanced/academic received Lessons: Clear guidelines in call for submissions
  • 31. Conclusion Progress in spite of rapid change and lack of understanding Catalogues assist with school library development and acquisitions