n Mousaion - Service learning in the Library and Information Studies curriculum at the University of the Western Cape : an exploratory study

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Service learning is a relatively new form of community-based learning. It creates opportunities for students at higher education institutions to gain hands-on experience whilst serving the community with their professional skills acquired thus far. In this article service learning is defined and compared with other forms of experiential learning such as fieldwork, volunteerism, internship, and community work (also known as community outreach). This article reports on an analysis of the current forms of community service within the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of the Western Cape. The current professional requirement, namely fieldwork, is reviewed. The results of the interaction of a focus group of public librarians and thematic interviews conducted with office-bearers, administrators, academic personnel and members of various higher educational institutions, organisations and librarians were used to determine the criteria for the analysis. The findings of this study show that there is a place for service learning in the curriculum and that service learning should not replace other experiential learning practices, but should continue to co-exist with them within a curriculum.

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