Monday, October 20, 2008

School libraries crucial in promoting reading cult

Daily News (Botswana): 2008 October 20
By Lesego Kelediyakgotla

FRANCISTOWN-Participants at an International School Library Month have been told that libraries in schools are important as they help students to explore subjects fully and to think more critical and creatively.

Safety Health Environment and Quality Divisional Manager, Mr George Sefunelo said this when giving a keynote address at the event in Francistown on Friday.

The theme of the event was “Literacy and Learning at your School Library”.

He said the aim of the school library is to promote reading and appreciation of culture, literature and the arts, and to meet information needs of the users.

He noted that libraries support the school curriculum by promoting independent reading, studying and research and helps users to explore their imagination.

Mr Sefunelo said libraries should be set up with appropriate staffing to provide guidance.

Training and provision of libraries, he said, should be intensified with the aim of providing a graduate librarian in each senior secondary school and a teacher librarian with a certificate at junior secondary.

He also noted that libraries help the realization of some of the pillars of Vision 2016 which call for an educated and informed nation and an open, democratic and accountable nation.

He suggested that parents be taught to play a role in the development of their children to study by visiting libraries at their schools.

Mr Sefunelo acknowledged Tati Nickel Company’s contribution towards education by promoting a healthy, well educated and skilled community with enhanced employment and business opportunities.

Giving objectives of the commemoration, Principal Education Officer , Mrs Thando Mudongo, said the aim was to share information, skills and knowledge and to strengthen parental and stakeholder involvement and market the school libraries.

She said school libraries which are effectively utilized would ensure that the culture of reading is being developed in children and the entire nation.

A parent, Mrs Catherine Muzila, emphasized that school libraries are places of opportunity because it is where students can strive for and achieve success.

It is also a place where a quality collection that supports the curriculum and addresses a variety of learning needs is found.

Mrs Muzila noted that an effective school library addresses a broad range of reading levels, is cost effective because one book is used by many, and provides flexible scheduling and timely access to the collection by all students.