The KwaZulu-Natal School Library policy aims to:
- guide the development of effective school libraries in the province
- function at both the level of governance as well as implementation
- support the full range of stakeholders in the school library field in the province
The policy proposal was drafted by a group of specialists and professionals in the school libraries field in KwaZulu-Natal. It was circulated for comment to a range of other specialists in the province, as well as in other provinces. A smaller task team finalised the policy document.
The policy draws on education legislation and policy documentation that, directly or indirectly, influences the establishment and development of school libraries in South Africa (Annexure C).
The policy identifies three models of library development for the establishment of school libraries in the province. The proposed models respond appropriately to the socio-economic realities of KwaZulu-Natal, and aims to implement equity and redress historical imbalances:
- classroom libraries, including shared classroom libraries
- permanent or mobile library collections of various types serving clusters of schools
- centralised school libraries
The teacher-librarian plays a key role in the establishment and successful implementation of an information literacy policy within a school, and in the integration of print, non-print and ICT resources in classroom teaching and learning. The teacher-librarian should
- develop, jointly with the educator team, and drive the implementation of a whole school information literacy policy
- chair the school library committee set up to
- develop a management policy for the school library
- ensure that services are accessible to all members of the school community
- determine and secure an adequate budget for the school library
- select suitable resource material to develop a balanced library collection that will serve the needs of all its users
- be part of the school's management committee
- perform the following roles within the school:
- Information specialist (with specialist knowledge and experience of ICT)
- Library manager
- Curriculum and literature enrichment specialist working with the educator team
The policy recommends a range of minimum norms (or quantitative measures) and standards (or qualitative benchmarks) for the establishment of school libraries. The standards and norms relate to both the planning and management of school libraries and the provision of furniture, equipment and resources.
The policy will be reviewed at regular intervals, especially during the implementation phase, to ensure that it remains relevant and addresses provincial school library development needs.