n South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Information access in high school libraries in Limpopo Province, South Africa
|Article Title||Information access in high school libraries in Limpopo Province, South Africa|
|© Publisher:||Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)|
|Journal||South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science|
|Affiliations||1 University of South Africa and 2 University of South Africa|
|Publication Date||Jan 2014|
|Pages||8 - 16|
|Keyword(s)||Information access, Information services, Library-based resources, Limpopo Province and School libraries|
School libraries help to support the school curriculum by providing learners and teachers with access to a wide variety of information resources, exposing learners to diverse ideas, experiences and opinions. Equitable access to information resources by teachers and learners is absolutely essential to enable them to execute their curriculum-related tasks and activities. Information access refers to an entire range of possibilities for making information and information services available to the users. Although access to services and collections is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms it has emerged from the literature that only a few schools in South Africa have well-equipped and functional libraries, making accessibility to information resources a major challenge to the majority of the teachers and learners. A library's success depends upon the availability of information resources. It is not enough that a library houses information resources; what is important is that they are physically and intellectually accessible to those who need them. 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 the triangulation of both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data from principals and teacher-librarians whilst an interview schedule was used to collect qualitative data from 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 (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.
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