The quarterly interprovincial meeting for Education Library and Information Services took place at the DBE in Pretoria on 16 August 2016. The purpose of the meeting is to co-ordinate school library developments and activities across the country; and to take the Read to Lead Campaign forward.
The meeting was attended by Provincial Education officials who are responsible for the implementation of library and information services in education, which also include school libraries and reading promotion. They were joined by officials from the DBE, representatives from Bridgestone and Mr Hasunuma from the South African Primary Education Support Initiative (SAPESi), an NGO which imports mobile library vehicles from Japan to donate to education library services in South Africa.
Each of the provinces presented an overview on activities and progress made with regard to school libraries and reading promotion. Provinces are doing wonderful work with the available resources that they have.
A few highlights are:
- The Eastern Cape Province will be training 1,112 school principals and 2,224 teachers on school libraries as the support of the principals and teachers are crucial for a school library to be sustainable. An exciting development is that some schools in the Mbizana District have decided to retain school library assistants with School Governing Body (SGB) funds when their learnerships have been completed.
- The Gauteng Province has implemented digital libraries in five schools and plans to include six LSEN schools in the digital library programme. They have also developed school library catalogues, registered 120 reading clubs and the Drop All and Read programme has been made compulsory in all schools.
- The KwaZulu-Natal Province has had a provincial school library policy for several years and this is being revised. They are planning a reading seminar for September to launch the provincial leg of the national Read to Lead Campaign.
- The North West Province is also developing a school library catalogue and the Drop All and Read programme is being monitored in schools.
- The Northern Cape Province had July school holiday reading edutainment sessions by utilising their two mobile libraries. They entertained learners and community members of all ages with indigenous games, chess, reading, poetry, storytelling, word building blocks and a computerised reading programme using solar power.
- The Western Cape Province made contact with the library services of the Provincial Department of Arts and Culture to establish the quantity and location of dual-purpose libraries in the province. They have also established partnerships with a range of NGOs and businesses which are making a sterling contribution to reading and school libraries within the province.