An overview of the SA Library and Information Services (LIS) Transformation Charter with reference to School Libraries and Youth Services

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The Library & Information Services (LIS) Transformation Charter: School and Youth Services Libraries

National Council for presented by Library & Information Services Theresa de Young

This presentation will give an overview of the LIS Transformation Charter and its recommendations for school libraries and TVET Colleges.

In April 2008 the NCLIS invited seven individuals to form the Library and Information Services Transformation Charter Technical Team. They were invited, not as representatives of organisations and institutions, but in their individual and personal capacities.1



Their task was to define the challenges facing the entire LIS sector and to provide a framework for effecting the changes necessary for the sector to contribute to the elimination of illiteracy, the eradication of inequality in the sector, the promotion of social cohesion, and the building of an informed and reading nation.

The first draft was presented in July 2008, the second in December 2008 (for public scrutiny) sixth 2009 in the form of arguments and recommendations.

I will work through the arguments and recommendations (that identifies steps to widening access to LIS) during this presentation, particularly with regards to School Libraries and TVETS2

The task team envisioned the following for a transformed LIS in South Africa:3

Free LIS access that is within reach for all South AfricansLIS are seen as places for everyone, catering for the marginalised such as people with disability, rural citizensCollaboration to achieve equity of provision for all citizens;LIS are guided by norms and standards, and institute regular monitoring and evaluation systemsAn integrated funding model for sustainable growth across all parts of the sector;LIS staff are committed professionals and are respected by their institutions, government bodies and user communities. Staff that are qualified and remunerated. Staff that are engaged in continuous professional education and development. Staff with codes of ethics and are held accountable.

4The Transformation Charterand School Libraries

Lets look at the transformation Charter wrt school libraries.5

Quality education means school libraries for ALL

School libraries are seen as important for quality learning and teachingThis means that ways must be found to provide for school library services for all.


DAUNTING BACKLOGS Because of the daunting backlogs in provisioning and equalising access to library services, the task teams recommendations would have to include amongst others..7

REQUIRE INNOVATIONinnovative models of LIS service and delivery.We might not go to the extreme of using our livestock and recycling, but we would need to look at models such as community / school libraries, mobile libraries and other models within the developmental spectrum of libraries.8

It is agreed worldwide that schools need libraries AND South Africa is no different9Why?What is the rationale for school libraries in South Africa? Why do we need school libraries?

10Commit to increase access to high-quality learning materialsNational Guidelines for Library and Information Services1This, together with the CAPS demand for access to diverse resources means that the curriculum cannot be delivered without access to well-managed collections of learning resources.


2South Africa aspires to compete in the global knowledge economy.This depends on producing information-literate school leavers. Information literacy education is accepted internationally as a specific mission of school libraries


3School libraries develop reading literacy Reading literacy is crucial for academic achievementIt is also needed to ensure participation in a democracy. Teachers might teach children how to read but everyday access to attractive books in their home languages leads children to enjoy reading. The more they enjoy reading, the more they will read and the better they will read. Internationally, reading ability has been shown to be a critical factor in academic performance and in keeping learners at school.(One of the three main objectives of the WCEDs mission is to reduce the number of dropouts)


4The library builds social cohesion a principle enshrined in the constitution.A library that is open all day, after school hours, benefits the whole school community. It provides a safe space for serious leisure - for personal, social and cultural development. It is a place for exploring oneself and the wider world.

14What willit taketo make it work?Planning and implementing South African school LIS must take into account

15What does the Charter recommend?


INFRASTRUCTUREWe will need adequate infrastructure.From shelving to stock provisioning to appropriate space and including ICTs with Internet connectivity.

Schools lack reading and learning resources. Hardly any schools conform to the IFLA/UNESCO standard of 10 library items per learner (2002)

The DBEs Regulations Relating to Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure (Department of Basic Education, 2013b) includes a library as a core education area, but it doesnt specify how the area should be stocked or managed and staffed The problem is that schools lack the space for LIS. Many schools have converted their libraries into classroom teaching space or storeroom.

Todays I CTs in modern multimedia and virtual LIS must be exploited. Dependable and generous access to the Internet will redress gaps in collections, connect the classroom and library, and connect the school to the broader information 17National School Library Policy

A national school libraries policy that provides norms and standards for the establishing, provisioning and staffing of librariesTo be developed by the DBE in consultation with sector. Approved by Minister of Basic Education. This will be a responsibility of the DBE with provincial education departments. This should be completed within a short timeframe. The Policy will act as an impetus for provincial education departments to recognise the need for libraries and will provide authority for the work of the school library support services. It will also persuade schools governing bodies to develop their own library and information policies 18National School LIS Unit based at DBE

Reinstate disestablished National School LIS Unit in DBE Provision of resources.It is the DBEs responsibility to establish the Unit. It should be set up within a short timeframe.The national school LIS unit will drive the policy processes and guide the implementation nationwide. The unit needs to be highly placed in the departmental hierarchies and staffed by qualified school librarians and education specialistsIt will formulate an action plan I consultation with the provinces.

19Models based on situations

Different conditions call for different models of service. Examples that might offer at least temporary solutions to the prevailing problems of lack of space include: o Classroom collections in primary schools, replenished frequently from the stocks of education centres or public libraries;o Clustering schools around one facility in order to share resources and space;o container or modular LIS.

These models should not be regarded as ideal or permanent solutions and schools should be encouraged to progress to different models as their circumstances change;

In some communities, education and public library authorities might get together establish dual use school community libraries, available to the school in the school day and open to the community after school hours and in school holidays.

Memoranda of understanding and policy are crucial to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the governance structures and to ensure that the partnerships are fair;

Every school learner must have access to a living up-to-date collection of reading, learning and information resources which caters for all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Whatever the delivery model, a minimum of five items per learner will be required20

BUDGETIn order for LIS to work in SA we need a proportion of the school budget must be allocated to managing and maintaining the LIS collection

If one considers that the curriculum demands resources and the pro-poor school funding policies evident in the National Norms and Standards for School Funding, why does so few schools have LIS?Only 7% of schools have a school library!

Norms and standards for school LIS do not existThere has been no pressure on school systems to develop them. The Department of Basic Educations National Guidelines for School Libraries, published in 2012 mere guidelines, they have had little impact on funding allocations and setting up of school libraries

The resources of the existing provincial education department school LIS support services are overstretched. Their budgets cannot meet the needs of all schools in their provinces. Their LIS advisors are often responsible for more than 300 schools;

BUT there has been recent flashes of hope:The DBEs briefing to Parliament on school LIS on 20 August 2013 began with an admission that it had neglected LIS (Department of Basic Education, 2013a). It then went on to outline its plans to remedy the situation beginning with a plan for centralised and classroom libraries over the next three years for secondary and primary schools respectively. It as asked Treasury for R700 million to fund the first phase and will bid for further funding for the following 10years. The plan, however, includes only the seven weakest provinces;

In announcing an additional R1.1billion for libraries in his budget speech of 16 May 2013, the Minister of Arts and Culture highlighted the need to strengthen his departments partnerships with the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Institutions of higher learning to ensure that we do become a reading nation and subsequently improve our literacy levels (Department of Arts and Culture, 2013a). It appears that a proportion of the extra funds is to be assigned expressly to the work of public libraries with schools;

21A school LIS funded from schools budget

There is a lack of dedicated funding for school libraries.There should be a dedicated school libraries funding by National Treasury.Discussions and lobbying of the DBE should take place.This is the responsibility of the DBE, NCLIS and ProvincesIt should happen within a medium timeframe The TC sees the initial establishing and provisioning of the LIS as the responsibility of the provincial school library support services or an agreed upon alternative agent, in consultation with school management. This means that school LIS programmes should be sustained by annual allocations from schools budgets. It is recommended that 10 per cent of schools learning and teaching support materials (LTSM) budgets should be assigned to the LIS programme;



A librarian / library worker is need to manage the LIS collection and to ensure that the LIS is a learning resource that is integrated with the delivery of the curriculum in the classroomThere are no official government posts for school librarians.When school management are faced with the national educator/learner ratio problems, the cannot accommodate a librarian. The vast majority of the existing school librarians are employed in governing body contract postsEducation and training programmes for school librarianship are limited. The lack of school librarian posts means that no career path exists;

23Establish School Librarian posts

Establish full- and part-time school librarian posts. Policy and legislation should make provisions for school library posts. It is the responsibility of the DBE.This should take place within a medium/ long timeframe.

This means that school librarian education programmes will expand. In partnership with provincial education departments, universities education faculties and library schools should be encouraged to set up school librarianship programmes. UNISA should re-establish its school and childrens librarianship programmes;

Teacher education programmes in colleges and universities should include courses in school librarianship and in childrens and youth literature. Moreover information literacy education should be embedded in al lteacher education;

Both formal and informal education programmes should harness the knowledge and expertise of the existing cohort of excellent school librarians. Mentoring programmes should be established

24Mentoring programmes for school librarians

Implement a mentoring coaching programme for school LIS profession to harness knowledge & expertise of current cohort of school librarians. This will take the form of formal & informal education programmes & work experience. Professional bodies, provincial departments must create space for mentorship programmes. Mentoring programmes for younger & new librarians must be in place. This is the responsibility of the DBE & provincial departments of education and private sector as well as SLYSIG.It should happen within a medium timeframe.25Modules of school librarianship in teacher education curricula

Part of the teams TC implementation plan is that teacher education in colleges and universities must include modules in school librarianship and in childrens and youth literature. This is to increase teachers awareness of the role of the school library & literature in teaching and learning. This is the responsibility of universities and colleges.This should be done within a short timeframe 26Information literacy education in teacher education curricula

It is all about the teacher.Information literacy education to be embedded in all teacher education programmes to build in information literacy educationTeachers lack the skills to incorporate information literacy skills and LIS in their teaching. Professional education & LIS bodies to lobby teacher education institutions, departments. Appropriate curricula introduced &.taught. It is the responsibility of Universities & CollegesThis should be done within a short timeframe.


There needs to be a team approach and consensus on the kind of learning that is valuedThe relationships among principal, teachers and library staff are crucial.Teacher-librarians lack status inside a school. They are often expected to run the library in a few free periods a week;

MOSTLY: lack of appreciation among teachers, principals and, indeed, policy-makers of the educational role of libraries. Libraries are seen as collections of books rather th...