Information access in high school libraries in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

Samuel Maredi Mojapelo, Luyanda Dube


Researchers agree that information resources are imperative for curriculum support. Equitable access to information resources by teachers and learners is absolutely essential to enable them to execute their curriculum-related tasks. However, only a few schools have functional libraries in South Africa making accessibility to the information resources a major challenge to the majority of the teachers and learners. Where school libraries are inadequate, other information services become significant. The purpose of this study was to investigate information access by teachers and learners in high schools in the Limpopo province. The study was largely quantitative blended with triangulation of both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data from the principals and teacher-librarians whilst an interview schedule was used to collect qualitative data from the education officials. The findings established that access to information by teachers and learners is a daunting challenge in the majority of the schools. The study recommends that the National Guidelines for School Library and Information Services document (2012) be converted into a legislated school library policy to ensure functionality of the different school library models to improve information access for curriculum support.


KEYWORDS: school libraries, information access, library-based resources, information services, Limpopo Province.

Full Text:



Baffour-Awuah, M. 2002. School libraries in Botswana: A state-of-the-art report.

Gaborone: Botswana National Library Service.

Dubazana, K & Hoskins, R. 2011. Promoting equitable access to school libraries in

KwaZulu-Natal: The role of the Education Library information and Technology

Services (ELITS). Innovation, 42: 114-131.

Du Toit, M & Stilwell, C. 2012. KwaZulu-Natal school library policy and its feasibility for

implementation in the province. South African Journal of Libraries and Information

Science, 78(2):120-131.

Graboyes, AS. 2012. A 21st century library in a 20th century space. Educational

leadership, December 2011/12: 74-78.

Hart, G & Zinn, S. 2007. The conundrum of school in South Africa. (Online).

Available at: (15 July


Hart, G. 2012. Searching for new library models: two South African case studies of

services to youth, in Libraries for young people: breaking through barriers, Pre-

conference-World Library and Information Congress, IFLA Section, Libraries for Children

and Young Adults, Joensuu, Finland, 9-10 August 2012: 1-11.

Hart, G. 2013. How school libraries improve literacy: Some evidence from the trenches.

Mousaion, 31(1):47-60.

Herselman. M. 2002. ICT bridging the digital divide amongst learners: A case study in

South Africa. Technikon Pretoria: South Africa.

Kwake, A, Ocholla, DN & Adigun, MO. 2006. The feasibility of ICT diffusion and use

amongst rural women in South Africa. South African Journal of Libraries and

Information Science, 72(2):108-118.

Library and Information Services Transformation Charter. 2009. The Draft. Pretoria:

Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and National Council for Library and

Information Services (NCLIS).

Limpopo. Department of Education. 2012. Annual Survey Update Master. Polokwane:

Department of Basic Education.

Limpopo Province. Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in Limpopo Province. 2009.

The 2009/10Draft Plan. Polokwane: Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

Machet, MP & Tiemensma, L. 2009. The literacy environment in support of voluntary

reading: A case study in Gauteng East and the Highveld Ridge Area. M. Inf thesis,

Pretoria: University of South Africa.

Magara, E & Batambuze, C. 2009. Reading promotion programmes in primary schools: A

study of school library management practises in Pallisa District in Uganda.

Mousaion, 27(/2):108-127.

Mahwasane, NP, Meyer, HWJ & Fourie, JA. 2008. Provision of library services to

Disadvantaged children in rural areas of the Limpopo Province, M. Inf thesis,

Pretoria: University of South Africa.

Mojapelo, MS & Fourie, JA. 2008. Library and information resources in the rural schools

of Limpopo Province: A pilot study. M.Inf thesis, Pretoria: University of South Africa.

Mostert, J & Nthetha, M. 2008. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in

secondary educational institutions in the uMhlathuze Municipality, South Africa: An

insight into their utilization, impact, and the challenges faced. South African Journal

of Libraries and Information Science, 74(1):23 - 40.

Nassimbeni, M & Desmond, S. 2011. Availability of books as a factor in reading, teaching

and learning behaviour in twenty disadvantaged primary school in South Africa.

South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 77(2):95- 115.

National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS). 2011. National

Assessment Report (public ordinary schools). Contract EDO305 (Online).

Available at:

(October 2012).

Otike, J. 2004. The development of libraries in Kenya. Innovation, 28:1-8.

Papazoglou, A & Semertzaki, E. 2001. Changes and developments in Greek libraries.

The Electronic Library, 19(3):158-167.

Saitis, C & Saiti, A. 2004. School libraries in Greece: A comparative study of public

Primary schools in rural and urban areas. Library and Information Science

Research, 26(2)201-220.

South Africa. Department of Basic Education. 2012. National guidelines for school library

and information services. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.

Spencer, RM. 2005. Developing library classroom children’ collections in English for a

Catalunyan private school. Collection Building, 24(4):117-23.

Stilwell, C. 2009. Mapping the fit: library and information services and the national

transformation agenda in South Africa, Part II. South African Journal of Libraries and

Information Science, 75(1):01-11.

Tiemensma, L. 2008. The literacy environment in support of voluntary reading: A case

study in Gauteng East and the Highveld Ridge area, M.Inf thesis, Pretoria:

University of South Africa.

Walliman, N. 2011. Research methods: The basics. New York: Routledge Taylor and

Francis G.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2012.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.