CHAPTER THREE ESTABLISHING SCHOOL LIBRARIES: SCHOOL LIBRARY MODELS AND STANDARDS
In this chapter, the origin and value of the standards and models for libraries in general and those of school libraries in particular are discussed. Although there is no approved school library policy with approved school library models and standards in South Africa, different school library models are outlined in this chapter as alternatives that could give each school an opportunity to establish and develop a library facility to support progressive and constructivist teaching and learning programmes (curriculum) at school. As already said, in order for school library models to be functional, approved school library standards need to be implemented and adhered to by all relevant stakeholders. Chapter 3 also outlines the generic minimum school library standards which, when approved by the national Department of Basic Education, can be implemented by provincial departments of education and schools to provide well-resourced and well-staffed school libraries in all schools in the country.
THE ORIGIN AND VALUE OF STANDARDS AND MODELS FOR LIBRARIES
Generally, standards are tools used by institutions, organisations, factories or companies to check or measure performance, compliance as well as the level of services provided. In the library sector, the aim of developing the standards was to set guidelines for the development of legislation that will set national norms and standards according to which library provisioning facilities should function (Roscello 2003). Similarly, Oberg (2003:24) indicates that “standards are clear measures used to describe exemplary practice, to set goals and to evaluate progress.” They are therefore benchmarks used to assess the level of quality of items produced or services rendered. According to the KPMG report (2007: 6):
“Standards are important in setting guidelines that will be used to inform legislation, regulations and policy. They will also guide provincial and municipal officials, library managers, librarians and the public with regard to the expectations, rights and obligations of each role player”.
As all countries are not at the same level of development, library models and standards “could be tailored to suite various national, provincial and municipal requirements. National norms and standards could provide the high-level guidelines for provinces and municipalities, who could then develop their own more specific norms and standards to accommodate the unique circumstances of their areas” (KPMG report (2007: 6). It implies that the implementation of the library models and standards should not be a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ as conditions and circumstances are not the same in all countries and communities. Library standards are essential to provide guidance and direction to a sector in undertaking its activities. They define and outline the minimum levels of service expected by users and the materials, equipment and resources required to achieve these service levels.
Due to different socio-economic conditions leading to inequalities in different communities, different school library models were developed to assist schools to give their school committees and communities the opportunity to establish and develop library facilities. Five school library models have been outlined in Chapter 3 of the National Guidelines for School Library and information Services (2012). However, as the document is not an approved school library policy, the implementation of these models is not mandatory. Approval of school library standards can make school library models functional. Approved school library standards can also be used as criteria against which to measure services offered by those facilities. According to Henne (1972:234), “standards provide impetus in the establishment, development and improvement of school media programs. They assist schools in designing media centres and programs of quality and in developing planning programs to achieve their goals over a period of time”.
SCHOOL LIBRARY STANDARDS
The first part of this section presents the history and origin of school library standards and the second part focuses on the typology of school library standards in South Africa.
History of school library standards
The following is a synopsis of the origin and development of school library standards worldwide:
a. The first school library was established by the pioneer librarian, Melvil Dewey, at Columbia College (now university) in 1887. There were no standards to guide the services of school libraries.
b. In 1915, concerned teachers caused the National Education Association’s Department of Secondary Education at the annual meeting in Oakland, California to constitute the Library Committee to investigate “actual conditions in high school libraries throughout the US and its second to make these facts known to school administrators so as to secure aid in bettering the conditions” (Beswick 1970:162).
c. In 1917, at the Symposium of the North Central Associations of Colleges and Secondary schools, the first formal report on school library standards was presented and adopted (Roscello 2004).
d. In 1918, school library standards were presented at a meeting and were adopted by Secondary
School Development. According to the Midland (2008:30), “these standards were the first set of professional guidelines that established many of the responsibilities and expectations of the school library, librarian and program that exist today.” These standards originated as a regional survey conducted by the National Education Association (NEA) and were compiled and approved by the American Library Association (ALA) (Midland 2008:30).
e. In 1920, the ALA endorsed “Certain Standards” and the NEA published quantitative standards. Othic (2010:2) indicates that these were “the first set of library standards” A 38-page booklet with high school library standards called Standard Library Organization and Equipment for Secondary Schools of different sizes was produced (Beswick1970; McCarthy 2006; Othic 2010). Midland
(2008:30) indicates that “these guidelines clarified that students should have direct access to information resources for recreation and for academics.” The document further stated that materials collected and stored in the library should be accessible and available to teachers and learners. According to the Midland (2008:31), the ALA created the School Library Yearbook, which
“described the school library as a laboratory for students to access information and express their individuality.” The introduction declares that:
“The school library lies at the very root of the new pedagogy of individual differences. It is the heart of any program of socialised effort and individual responsibility. The new curriculum is now being forged in a thousand towns and cities, cries for tools of learning which shall be as good in their fields as implementers of modern industry are in theirs. If the new urge toward education as a lifelong project is to become general, the child must develop in the school library, attitudes, habits and knowledge of intellectual resources, which will lead him to use libraries and to build up his own. As the world advances, the will to learn and the technique of learning are needed more and more by the masses” (Midland 2008:31).
f. In 1925, C C Certain chaired a meeting where a report entitled Joint Committee on Elementary School Library Standards also known as the Second Certain Report was produced by the NEA and the ALA (Beswick 2010; McCarthy 2006; Othic 2010; Roscello 2004). The report emphasised “the increased need for teaching library skills” (Midland 2008:30).
g. In 1939, “Evaluative criteria” were developed by the Middle States Association specifically for school libraries. Versions of “Evaluative Criteria” were used throughout the 1950s (Roscello 2004).
h. In 1941, the ALA and the NEA joint committee created a statement of principles concerning school libraries.
i. In 1945, the ALA published a 43-page document called School Libraries for Today and Tomorrow: Functions and Standards (McCarthy 2006). The document included quantitative and qualitative library standards in the post-war Planning for Library series. The document stated that, “school librarians were encouraged to expand collection development to include the new information sources of 16mm films, filmstrips, slides, radio programs, recordings and transcriptions” (Midland
2008:31). The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) formed a school library standards committee, which appointed Mary Douglas as a chairperson. Othic (2010:3) indicates that Frances Henne was one of the major figures in the committee involved with this report.
j. In 1951, it was imperative for leaders to recognise the need for updating and addressing standards regularly in response to changes in educational philosophy and technology. “AASL moved from section to division in ALA.” In the very same year, Frances Henne, Ruth Ersted and Alice Lohrer published a document called A Planning Guide for the High School Library Program. According to Othic (2010), it was the first evaluative guide for school libraries.
k. In 1958, the first federal funding became available to school libraries through the NDEA (Othic 2010).
l. In 1960, a document called Standards for School Library Programs was developed and published by the ALA. It was the document that “exposed the dire needs and issues of the school library” (Midland 2008:31). The document emphasised that the school library must be a resource for text materials and an instructional multimedia centre integrating the latest audio-visual materials. The document also:
“…designated school library instead of the public library as the principal location for students to access instructional materials and services. The school library was seen as an extension of classroom pedagogy. The library was also to extend its hours to give students access before and after school as well as throughout the school day. Librarians were encouraged to become involved with teachers in instructional decision making and to work with teachers in developing programs for content classes” (Midland 2008:31).
The meeting was chaired by Frances Henne with input from the NCTE and the NEA Department of Audio Visual (AV) instruction (Midland 2008:31).
m. During 1960 – 1962, the Knapp School Library Development Project was initiated with Frances
Henne on the advisory board. The aim of the project was to demonstrate “the educational value of school library programs, services and resources which fully meet the national standards for school libraries” (Henne 1972:237).
n. In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was drafted and school libraries received significant federal support as part of the Great Society legislation, which included the Library Services and Construction Act, Higher Education Act.
o. In 1969, the AASL, the ALA and the NEA’s Department of Audiovisual Instruction (DAVI) published a document entitled Standards for School Media Programs of which Frances Henne was the coordinator. Terms such as “media,” “media specialist,” “media centre” and “media programme” were used in the document (Henne 1972:233).
p. In 1975, the AASL and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) (former NEA-DAVI) published a document entitled Media Programs: District and School (Midland 2008:32). According to the document, “programmes of media services are designed to assist learners to grow in their ability to find, generate, evaluate and apply information that helps them to function effectively as individuals and to participate fully in society. The 1975 standards gave the media specialist the responsibility to participate actively in the educational process by selecting and making available the information resources best suited for teacher and student learning needs” (Midland 2008:32).
q. In 1988, the AASL and the AECT published a document entitled Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. The document emphasised the use of ICTs to access information on the Internet. “It guided school librarians in accommodating their programs with the integration of the microcomputer and digitized information.” The school library was seen as a centre where learners can learn technology skills to surf the Internet to access information across the globe (information age) (Midland 2008:32).
r. In 1998, the AASL and the AECT published yet another document called Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (McCarthy 2006; Roscello 2003:9). The introduction of computers revolutionised the nature and function of the library. If people wanted to access information electronically, it was essential for them to learn technological skills to use the Internet.
It was therefore important for users of the library to be computer literate. Midland (2003:32) reiterates that “the explosion of information and easy access to it in several formats has made exhaustive research on a topic a task that requires learning skills focused on the use of information rather than on merely finding it.” Information Power was published to “provide a roadmap to librarians and educators for the initiation of programs that prepare students with the skills to personally update and develop the knowledge needed in an emerging world that will require a whole new set of living and working skills” (Midland 2003:32). Information Power emphasises the need for students to acquire information skills to access information as lifelong learners. Information literacy was a “keystone” for lifelong learning, which was “an absolute necessity for success in the 21st century” and it was therefore essential for students to be information literate to cope with modern challenges brought about by the ICTs (Midland 2003:32).
s. In 2001, The Kentucky Department of Education published a document called Beyond Proficiency: Achieving a Distinguished Library Media Program, which “established standards and goals for school library media centres. The document also described the role the library media centre played in our school’s efforts to reach proficiency and beyond on Kentucky’s school accountability measures” (Houston 2008:14). Media specialists worldwide wanted to implement the standards necessary to ensure quality and improved school media centres. It was also essential for school media centres to be staffed by certified media specialists to ensure improved and increased student test scores, especially in reading (Houston 2008:14).
t. In 2007, a task force or team composed of librarians, media specialists and educators from the AASL met for one year. They identified the skills and learning strategies required for living and working in the 21st century. Because of the efforts and strategies of the task force or team, a document called Standards for the 21st Century Learner was published. It consisted of standards composed of nine beliefs and four standards, which served as the foundation for a strong media programme for facilitating change and developing leaders in the school library media field. The nine foundational beliefs are:
1. Reading is a window to the world.
2. Inquiry provides a framework for learning.
3. Ethical behaviour in the use of information must be taught.
4. Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.
5. Equitable access is a key component for education.
6. The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed.
7. The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own.
8. Learning has a social context.
School libraries are therefore essential to the development of learning skills. The standards describe how learners use skills, resources and tools to:
a. Inquire, think critically and gain knowledge.
b. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situation, and create new knowledge.
c. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.
d. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth (Midland 2003:33).
Typology of school library standards in South Africa
As already pointed out in Chapter 1, section 1.8.2, school library standards are defined as a set of criteria or guidelines used to measure, evaluate and assess compliance when a given type of school library service (school library model) is established or developed (Stander 1993). They are minimum conditions and requirements that guide the organisation in achieving its objectives. School library standards are used as basis of comparison. They are regarded as benchmarks or criteria for setting compliance or conformity requirements. Without standards, it is impossible to measure and evaluate the extent to which a given type of school library service is meeting ones’ set of objectives (California. Department of Education 2011; Du Toit 2008; KwaZulu-Natal. Department of Education 2003; South Africa. Department of Education 1997; Stander 1993).
Two types of school library standards are distinguished, namely, school library standards for learners and school library programme standards (California. Department of Education 2011).The following are examples of school library standards that guide school library committees, SGBs and SMTs when developing and establishing library provisioning facilities or school libraries:
School library standards for learners
School library standards for learners, “ delineate what learners should know and be able to do at each grade level or grade span to enable learners to succeed in school, higher education and the workforce” (California. Department of Education 2011:7). They infuse the acquisition of information literacy skills to enable learners to “access, evaluate, use and integrate information and ideas found in print, media and digital resources enable them to function in a knowledge-based economy and technologically oriented society” (California. Department of Education 2011:7).
In California, school library standards are centred on four concepts followed by generic all-encompassing standards that continue across all grade levels. However, there are detailed school library standards that must be achieved by the learners at the end of each grade or grade span
(South Africa. Department of Education 1997). To ensure progression and continuity, mastery of the school library standards for previous grades is a prerequisite. This is useful because it encourages learners “to use the skills and knowledge as they advance in school” (California. Department of Education 2011:7). According to California Department of Education (2011:7), student progress is assessed by class teachers collaboratively with teacher-librarians to determine whether prerequisite knowledge and skills have been acquired and “where there is a need to review or re-teach standards from earlier grades”. However, it is worthwhile to know that school library standards for learners cannot be taught in isolation as stand-alone standards. They are meant to be infused collaboratively by the subject teachers and teacher-librarians within the curriculum context.
The California Department of Education school library standards are progressive because learners are “compelled” to master and acquire them per grade. In this case, well-resourced and staffed school libraries are essential. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the majority of the schools in South Africa. Without well-resourced and staffed school libraries, it is a dilemma for both teachers and learners to acquire information literacy skills for independent leisure time studies and life-long learning. The following is an outline of the school library standards for learners:
i. Learner information access
For learners to successfully access information, application of the knowledge of the organisation and classification systems used in libraries is crucial (California. Department of Education 2011).
For instance, learners are expected to know how a diverse range of library materials and resources which constitute a library collection, is organised. Without organisational and retrieval skills, it would be a nightmare for learners to get the materials they sought. The development and acquisition of the information literacy skills by learners cannot be overemphasised (Paton-Ash & Wilmot).
For instance, when learners are given an assignment, they are expected to recognise the need for information to execute a given task or activity (Chipeta, Jacobs & Mostert 2009; South Africa. Department of Basic Education 2012). The assignment topic needs to be adequately analysed to identify the most important search terms and concepts to formulate relevant and appropriate search questions. With knowledge of the effective search and research strategies, a host of online resources and resources in other formats are identified and located until more appropriate and relevant resources are retrieved for that particular assignment. Acquisition of information literacy skills ensures that learners retrieve “relevant and appropriate information” effectively and timeously for assigned tasks and activities.
In South Africa, the fact that the majority of the schools have no access to well-resourced and functional school libraries speaks a volume. Acquisition of information literacy skills is a daunting challenge faced by most learners. Perhaps, the challenge is exasperated by the lack of acquisition of information literacy skills by teachers themselves and not forgetting untrained and unqualified teacher-librarians.
ii. Learner evaluation and analysis of information
Although not an easy task or activity, the ability of the learners to evaluate and systematically analyse retrieved information from a host of library resources needed to execute a given assignment is crucial (Chipeta, Jacobs & Mostert 2009; CILIP 2002; Kruger 1998). Ability by the learners to determine and assess the comprehensiveness, currency, credibility, authority, relevancy and accuracy of the retrieved materials and its information is also crucial. Although not inherently acquired, but through teaching of information literacy skills, learners can acquire these skills, particularly in well-resourced and functional schools. Ability by learners to recognise that “trusted adult” is also an information resource is also important (California. Department of Education 2011).
iii. Learners use information
Learners are expected to organise, synthesise, create, communicate and use information ethically, critically, legally and safely from multimedia resources (Chipeta, Jacobs & Mostert 2009; CILIP 2002). In cases where learners are required to provide personal and private information of trusted adults as information resources, special permission should be requested from them. Learners are also expected to use a variety of information resources to make accurate conclusions and informed decisions. Learners are also expected to use ICTs to solve their problems and answer questions.
iv. Integrating information literacy skills with subjects or learning areas
Information literacy skills acquired by learners are integrated into all subjects or learning areas that form a curriculum. Learners are therefore expected to use diverse information resources to read widely for personal interest and life-long learning. Sharing of knowledge with fellow learners is greatly encouraged (CILIP 2002:13; South Africa. Department of Education 1997).
School library programme standards
According to the California Department of Education (2011), school library programme standards are minimum expectations needed for a school library to effectively function to enable the learners to optimally and successfully achieve their school library standards. Without a school library meeting these minimum library standards, it becomes a dilemma for learners to achieve their stipulated school library standards. School library programme standards include staffing and its responsibilities, funding, a wide range of resources (facilities and materials) including e-resources and accessibility to resources (CILIP) (2002).
i. School library committee
According to Mojapelo (2008:54),
“A school library committee is the management body of the school library representing the school community. It is therefore part of the organisational structure of the school library. According to A National Policy Framework for School Library Standards (1997:45), the South African School Act (SASA) of 1996 (Act 84 of 1996), gives SGBs powers to establish committees at school”.
It is therefore the responsibility of the SGBs and SMTs in each school to establish a school library committee according to the said Act to cater for the library and information needs of the teachers and learners to support curriculum delivery. According to the School Library Policy of KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (2003:4), school library committee “functions as a sub-committee of the SGB and must be representative of the whole school community including learner representation.” The school library committee plays an important role in assisting teacher-librarians to plan and organise programmes to improve teaching and learning at schools (Mangena 2003; Olën & Kruger 1995).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF APPENDICES
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.2 CONTEXTUAL SETTING
1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.5 RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE AND ORIGINALITY OF THE STUDY
1.7 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
1.8 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
1.9 THESIS STRUCTURE
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY
2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY
2.3 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PROVISION OF SCHOOL LIBRARIES
CHAPTER THREE ESTABLISHING SCHOOL LIBRARIES: SCHOOL LIBRARY MODELS AND STANDARDS
3.2 THE ORIGIN AND VALUE OF STANDARDS AND MODELS FOR LIBRARIES
3.3 SCHOOL LIBRARY STANDARDS
3.4 SCHOOL LIBRARY MODELS
CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.2 CHOICE OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.4.1 Sample size
4.5 RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS
4.6 LITERATURE REVIEW OR DOCUMENTATION REVIEW
4.7 PROCEDURE FOR DATA COLLECTION
4.8 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
4.9 PILOT STUDY
4.10 DATA ANALYSIS
4.11 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
4.12 THE CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED DURING THE EMPIRICAL STUDY
CHAPTER FIVE PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA
5.2 RESPONSE RATE
5.3 GENERAL INFORMATION
5.4 LEGISLATION AND POLICY FRAMEWORKS
5.5 SCHOOL LIBRARY MODELS
5.6 GENERIC SCHOOL LIBRARY STANDARDS
5.8 PROGRAMMES OFFERED BY THE SCHOOL LIBRARIES
5.9 THE CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED IN DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING FUNCTIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIES
5.10 SUPPORT OFFERED TO SCHOOLS TO ESTABLISH FUNCTIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIES
5.11 GENERAL COMMENTS
CHAPTER SIX DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS
6.2 BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON SCHOOL LIBRARIES
6.3 LEGISLATION AND POLICY FRAMEWORKS198
6.4 SCHOOL LIBRARY MODELS
6.5 OTHER INFORMATION SERVICES AVAILABLE
6.6 GENERIC SCHOOL LIBRARY STANDARDS
6.7 PROGRAMMES OFFERED BY THE SCHOOL LIBRARIES
6.8 CHALLENGES IN ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING FUNCTIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIES
6.9 SUPPORT GIVEN TO SCHOOLS TO ESTABLISH FUNCTIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIES
6.10 GENERAL COMMENTS
CHAPTER SEVEN SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND A PROPOSED MODEL
7.2 SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS
7.5 A PROPOSED SCHOOL LIBRARY MODEL
7.6 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
8. REFERENCES .
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