|dc.description.abstract||The study presents the status of school libraries in the
Province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in the period 1990
to April 1996. The status quo is examined in order to provide
a backdrop to the development of an implementation plan for
resource provision in the region. This is because access to
resources at school level is important for the enrichment of
the learning experience and the development of skills needed
to access information effectively.
It was not easy to obtain data. Several different instruments
such as questionnaires, interviews and talks were resorted to,
to collect the information required in the study.
The study reports on the library and education context in the
Province in the period 1990 to April 1996, locating school
libraries within both the education arena and the library and
information profession. The study reflects on the policy,
provision and service of the five former Departments of
Education in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
International trends in school libraries and librarianship are
also reviewed, particular attention being paid to the
provision of school library services in Africa. The
international perspective was reviewed to help inform the plan
for school library provision in the KwaZulu-Natal region.
The study suggests that a school library in each school in the
Province of KwaZulu-Natal is not affordable in the near
future. It suggests the planning of joint school/public
libraries, for resource provision to schools in the region.
This joint provision is suggested on the basis of
incorporating the school library provisioning section into the
Provincial public library system and the removal of the
procurement function from the school library advisory service
in the Department of Education. An exact plan to
enable the above is suggested in the study, prioritising both
short-and long-term goals.
The study suggests the development of teachers' centres that
promote resource-based teaching and learning at school level.
It is clear that the exact details of the school/public
library partnership have to be clearly mapped out, before the
joint project is undertaken, in order to ensure that all
stakeholders understand their responsibilities, and that the
provision of resources to enhance and optimise the teaching
experience needs to interact with the cultural context of the
child for the benefits of a library to be fully experienced.
The above, will only be possible if a co-ordinated Provincial
policy and plan for resource provision are accepted and acted
upon; that is, translated into minimum standards for
provision. The lack of policy, standards and plan have, in the
past, led to ad hoc provision of resources in the Province.
The challenge is to convince all stakeholders of the
advisability of the above as an interim arrangement in the