n Mousaion - Challenges in the provision of school library services in Katlehong secondary schools

Volume 32, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



This article reports on a study that investigated the issues and challenges in the provision of school libraries in secondary schools in Katlehong, Gauteng province, South Africa. A qualitative research method was used to conduct the study among 14 secondary schools in Katlehong. The target population included 14 teacher-librarians, 14 principals and one Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) official, who were interviewed. Additionally, 102 teachers participated in focus group discussions (FGDs). Convenience sampling was used to select the teachers, while purposive sampling was used to select all the other participants in the study. The study revealed that teachers are not using school libraries in Katlehong because they are unable to provide relevant information services due to a lack of space; out-dated and inadequate information collections; uncatalogued and poorly organised books; inaccessible opening hours; and a lack of funds and networked computers. Only 29 per cent of the schools had qualified teacher-librarians in their employ, while the 71 per cent unqualified 'teacher-librarians' indicated that they were managing the school libraries without the professional skills required to guide both teachers and learners in the use of library resources. The teacher-librarians were also burdened with additional teaching loads, which negatively affected the opening hours of the libraries. It was recommended, firstly, that a specific library period be allocated to each class to allow for library orientation; secondly, that sufficient funding be allocated to each school library to enable it to function optimally; and, thirdly, that library hours be regulated and qualified library staff be employed.

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