Community libraries: the concept and its application bythe Pinetown Public Library

B.J. Mostert, W. M. Vermeulen


Public libraries in South Africa have largely failed to address the information needs of developing communities. As a result the establishment of alternative library services, notably resource centres and community libraries, have gathered momentum since the 1980s. The concept of community libraries, currently embraced by an increasing number of public libraries, is explored, and the community library system implemented by the Pinetown Public Library is evaluated against norms derived from the literature on the development of public libraries in Africa and South Africa.

Openbare biblioteke in Suid-Afrika het nie noemenswaardig daarin geslaag om dienste te voorsien wat die wesentlike behoeftes van ontwikkelende gemeenskappe aanspreek nie. Gevolglik het alternatiewe dienste soos byvoorbeeld bronnesentrums en gemeenskapsbiblioteke ontstaan, veral vanaf die vroeë tagtiger jare. Die konsep van gemeenskapsbiblioteke wat besig is om in openbare biblioteke veld te wen, word ontleed en die stelsel wat deur Pinetown se Openbare Biblioteek in werking gestel is, word geëvalueer aan die hand van norme gebaseer op die literatuur oor die ontwikkeling van openbare biblioteke in Afrika en Suid-Afrika.

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