Adult education in two public libraries in Cape Town : a case study

Mary Nassimbeni, Nobubele Tandwa


This paper reports the findings of research (Tandwa 2007) into adult literacy programmes offered by two public libraries in Cape Town with a focus on their use of literacy materials. The study is a contribution to the documenting and analysis of the public library's role in the struggle against illiteracy, a serious socio-economic problem in South Africa. Using the case study approach the researcher made an in-depth study of the programme offerings from the perspective of the adult learners, and tried to establish how and whether they made use of literacy materials, since their availability is so important in literacy instruction and the development of a reading habit. The paper describes the programmes and the cohorts of learners and their expectations, and analyses the availability and role of reading materials in the learners' lives. It concludes by identifying the factors required for the successful implementation of a literacy programme in a public library.


adult education; public libraries; South Africa; literacy materials; literacy programmes

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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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