An exploratory study of government ministerial libraries in Maseru, Lesotho.
The present study explores the status of government ministerial libraries in Maseru, Lesotho, with the purpose of discovering the factors which affect the growth and development of these libraries. To provide a wider context within which to view this study literature dealing with government libraries was examined. Nineteen government ministerial libraries were chosen as a population for the study. However, only fourteen ministerial libraries were eventually surveyed. Twenty library workers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire as the data collection instrument. The collected information was analysed manually. The study established that there are very few laws and regulations that govern the existence of libraries in Lesotho. The responses showed that even though there are government ministerial policies they do not accommodate libraries. The majority of these libraries do not get support from government for library material and therefore they depend only on donations which are not adequate, most of the time, for the needs of the users. The responses also revealed that the majority of government libraries do not function in the way that fully-fledged libraries do. The library workers revealed that the educational standards of library workers in Lesotho are not satisfactory at all. Among the staff of government libraries that were interviewed only five had a university degree, two had a university diploma and two had university certificates. It was found that some of the library services had not performed well becasue of one-man libraries and a lack of qualified staff The responses from the interviews established that government ministerial libraries in Lesotho are static; they do not grow and develop largely out of a lack of recognition, a lack of interest and a lack of upport from the government. Recommendations are based on the findings of the study with the hope that they will provide a basis for properly equipped and adequately staffed library services in all ministries in future.