School libraries as agents of change


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South African school libraries in context and it's role in transforming society, culture, economics, democracy and community development. Presented at LIASA Western Cape's Armchair Conversation on Librarians as agents for social change, community development and democracy.

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School libraries as agents of change

  1. 1. Theresa de Young
  2. 2. Redress – Access - Equality
  3. 3. Poor infrastructure – low literacy – revising curriculum
  4. 4. 25000 schools 7% have a functioning library
  5. 5. Social – Community Development – Democracy – Culture - Economic
  6. 6. School literacy levels 'a catastrophe' Research 133 schools Average Grade 2 reads 58 wpm - most read 20-29 learners 13% cannot read a single word in English Grade 5: illiterate – most score 4/20 comprehension (iol) Dr Nick Taylor, Head National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (Needu) at the Department of Basic Education
  7. 7. School libraries improve literacy and help mould intellectually responsible citizens
  8. 8. Provides access to information and resources Bridge the divide of those who haves and those who don’t have
  9. 9. Serve the entire school community Impacts on teachers Teachers themselves are agents of change
  10. 10. School libraries impact positively on learner achievement Create wider post-school opportunities
  11. 11. Empower learners to tackle the problem of poverty
  12. 12. Information literacy - independent, sustainable learning Cope with global economy
  13. 13. Of teachers – introducing new formats of materials and new teaching strategies
  14. 14. Serve as a safe environment for learners to learn
  15. 15. Our impact is little due to low numbers makes us passive change agents with huge potential We need to become active change agents
  16. 16. Need a vision to determine action
  17. 17. All schools have a functional school library that: • is the hub of the school community • has the potential to change and maintain the culture of learning at the school • transforms literacy and numeracy • produce information literate school leavers who thrive in the knowledge society and economy.
  18. 18. Policy New look school library to cope with huge need Work the idea of the school library programme Ensure exposure to multiple resources Invest in mobile libraries Innovative partnerships Strengthen inter-government collaboration Become consultants to teachers