Teachers use of a school library in a South African township school: closing the literacy gap

Nicoline Wessels, Nampombe Mnkeni-Saurombe

Abstract


This post-project study investigates the use of the school library at a primary school by teachers at the end of a literacy
project, without the guidance of the project facilitators at the school. The article gives background information about the
Academic Literacy Research Project Unit (ALRU) from the University of South Africa which established a school library at
school P as part of the literacy research project. The aim of the Literacy Project was to improve literacy levels and create
a strong reading culture that would later have a positive impact on the academic progress of learners at school P. The
Literacy Project involved training teachers in literacy and reading matters. In addition to the teacher training, a school
librarian was trained to manage the school library. At the onset of the post-project study, self-administered questionnaires
were drawn up to collect data on the teachers school library practices after withdrawal of the project team. The
questionnaires included qualitative and quantitative questions. The findings suggest that the school library is being utilised
and appreciated as an integral part of the learning process; however, the teachers seem to need further exposure and
training on information literacy. The authors hope that the information and interpretations provided in this article will be
helpful in achieving the goal of quality education in South Africa and especially in improving the reading and literacy levels
of all learners.

Keywords


School library; teachers; learners; literacy; primary school education; South Africa; reading; information literacy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/78-1-50

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