Our organization is involved in Literacy projects
The Eastern Cape Province is the poorest province in South Africa, and is predominantly rural.
Research has shown that Fiction has the potential to open up new worlds for learners who have very little experience of the world other than the environments in which they were raised.
In contexts where access to fiction may not be available in the home environment and where encouragement to read may be limited, the library becomes even more important.
Library renovation projects
My experience as a teacher-librarian is that it is possible to extend learning beyond textbooks provided guidance and additional resources are available. The existence of a functioning library is clearly very important
I am fortunate in that, because of my position as librarian at one of the most well-resourced schools in South Africa, I was given the opportunity to design what I considered to be the ideal school library and thus drew on the idea that library users need to recognise themselves in library spaces.
It is well known that before 1994 when schools were divided according to race, white schools were provided with libraries and teacher librarians. Black secondary schools that fell under the South African government had libraries but no library staff, while some black primary schools had classroom collections. Schools in the so called ‘homelands’ and townships had no library provision whatsoever.
Research done by Equal Education, Bookery (2010) showed that only 8% of public schools in South Africa have functional libraries. According to the Bookery Equal Education Book Drive, approximately 20,000 schools are without libraries, thereby denying their learners access to regular reading opportunities.
I also believe that libraries need to take into account the socio-cultural context in which they are located. This involves consulting with library users so that they are more likely to readily recognize themselves and their specific needs in the library’s services. Consultation with library users will also serve to improve library services as their needs change.
We promote leadership amongst the Youth in our local communities. The aim is to collaborate with a school library in our communities and build relationships. Our slogan is “Nothing about them without them”.
The focus is on painting the walls of the school library, cleaning up the shelves, sourcing and organizing the books, asking for book donations from the community, organizing fundraising initiatives, and simply socializing together.