n Mousaion - The effectiveness of teacher librarians in primary schools : the experience of the Melani school libraries in the Eastern Cape

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



In 2002, a pilot project established school libraries in eleven primary schools in Melani, Fort Beaufort District. The role players in this initiative were South African Partners, the Eastern Cape Department of Education, the University of Fort Hare and the Library and Information Science Association of South Africa (LIASA). The aim of the project was to develop a model that would lead to the establishment and development of school libraries in other areas of the Eastern Cape.

This paper reports the findings of a research project (Mnkeni 2007) that sought to investigate the effectiveness of teacher librarians in primary schools reflecting on the experience of the Melani cluster of schools. The aim was to assess the effects the school libraries have had on teaching and learning. The qualitative and quantitative study involved 110 primary learners, 39 educators, 11 teacher librarians, and an official from the Provincial Department of Education.
The findings suggest that the school libraries contributed to academic achievement, emphasising the necessity for every primary school to have a library. Consequently the study recommends the need to accelerate the completion of the National School Library Policy which was first drafted in 1997 (Hart 2003 : 14).

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