The school-community library as a solution to the lack of library services in the Umtata district of the former Transkei.
Combined libraries are school facilities that double as public libraries, to allow libraries to reach areas not previously served, in a very cost-effective way. These libraries are most suitable for small disadvantaged communities which cannot afford to provide minimum library services through seperate services. This study is based on the extension of library services in the Umtata district of the former Transkei, where library services are almost non-existent. It sets out to establish the following: (i) the status quo in terms of school library provision and availability, (ii) the extent of, or lack of awareness with regard to the role of the school library in education, (Hi) the existing relations between the school and the community, (iv) the attitude of school principals to the concept of combined libraries. The survey research was employed with person-to-person interview using an interview schedule. Ninety two school principals and two teacher-librarians were interviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data obtained. The findings revealed that school library provision in the Umtata district is poor, the few libraries that exist are inadequate in terms of material, staff and accomodation. There is however, a growing realization of the necessity for libraries in educational institutions. There is also a healthy relationship between the school and the community as a result most respondents supported the idea of joint-use. In conclusion, the study is in concurrence with previous studies on combined libraries, that they are suitable for those communities that are unable to provide minimum library services through seperate facilities. The adaptation of combined library services to suit the divergent needs of people with different cultural and social background is recommended. A local-based information system, which takes the form of a community participatory model is recommended.
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