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

  • Nicoline Wessels University of South Africa
  • Nampombe Mnkeni-Saurombe University of South Africa
Keywords: School library, teachers, learners, literacy, primary school education, South Africa, reading, information literacy

Abstract

This post-project study investigates the use of the school library at a primary school by teachers at the end of a literacyproject, without the guidance of the project facilitators at the school. The article gives background information about theAcademic Literacy Research Project Unit (ALRU) from the University of South Africa which established a school library atschool P as part of the literacy research project. The aim of the Literacy Project was to improve literacy levels and createa strong reading culture that would later have a positive impact on the academic progress of learners at school P. TheLiteracy Project involved training teachers in literacy and reading matters. In addition to the teacher training, a schoollibrarian was trained to manage the school library. At the onset of the post-project study, self-administered questionnaireswere drawn up to collect data on the teachers school library practices after withdrawal of the project team. Thequestionnaires included qualitative and quantitative questions. The findings suggest that the school library is being utilisedand appreciated as an integral part of the learning process; however, the teachers seem to need further exposure andtraining on information literacy. The authors hope that the information and interpretations provided in this article will behelpful in achieving the goal of quality education in South Africa and especially in improving the reading and literacy levelsof all learners.
Published
2012-12-06
Section
Research Articles