THE SCHOOL LIBRARY
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This assessment is an attempt to empirically analyze the school library. The primary focus of this assessment is to examine the contributions and roles of a university library. This assessment provides an overview of the conceptual roles of school libraries. The findings here revealed that: a standard school library provide access to a wide range of sources. A modern school library is more than just a storage place for books (repository for books). A properly resourced school library program includes a teacher librarian with library qualifications, a library technician, support staff, access to a robust digital media centre and e-resources, and a current book collection. Libraries also have important roles that they play in developing literacy skills in learners. School libraries support the goal of it institution to grow a community of enthusiastic readers by making accessible a wide range of different reading material that reflect both the learners’ interest and their reading abilities. Based on the reviewed literatures and findings, the researcher recommend that more community libraries should be established to supplement poor school library services. The libraries should be well stocked with a wide range of library resources so that it will be able to play its role effectively to students.
The school library is an inevitable part of a school which operates within an academic system and school jurisdictive background, and contained by a public community. School libraries are directly linked with the education system and can also consolidate basic information literacy instructions through supporting curriculum and instructional goals, consulting on individualized reading guidance programmes, providing library group activities, instructing learners in library skills, helping teachers appraise learners skills, conducting workshops and discussions to help parents support learners reading and learning, and collaborating with the public library on reading programmes and technology (Chisenga, J. 2012).
The above points out that the school library is an important aspect of the university education system which support education in general. It plays an important role in the teaching and learning process. It can be seen as the academic nerve center of the school. School libraries are necessary in every school setting, due to its collections when applied in teaching makes learning easier and understandable to students.
The school library has been described as the heart of the school system. It has long been seen as the school learning resources centre, the laboratory of laboratories. Generally, a library can be defined as an institution responsible for the acquisition, organization and storage of recorded knowledge in various media for study, research and consultation. According to Ochogwu (2010), library is defined as professionally organized collection of graphic and non-graphic materials for exploitation. Many users of the school library view it as a place where books and other materials are kept and made available for use. Today’s standard school include not only printed materials like manuscripts, books, newspapers, magazines, journals government documents, abstracts indexes and grey literature such as projects, but also art reproductions, films, sound and video recordings, maps. Photographs, microfiches, CD-ROMs computer software, online resources such as databases e-journals, e-books and other media. Libraries provide people with access to the information they need to work, play, learn and govern. Because no single library can contain the information sought by every potential user, different types of libraries exist to serve different users.
Since school libraries identify within educational institutions, it means that there should be a form of coordination between libraries and all the other elements within the educational institutions such as teachers, pupils, the curricula, and the programs. A school library has the following major objectives:
- To support all education al programs of the school.
- To cultivate reading habits in both secondary and university students.
- To develop their interest to use the library for their overall development.
- To inculcate the habit of seeking help of additional sources other than text books.
- To develop self-learning skills of students.
- To nurture good moral values and principles in students.
- To help teachers to improve their teaching expertise.
- To provide healthy material for recreational and entertainment purpose of students, teachers and staff members.
- It keeps the teachers and management informed with the latest updates in education sector.
The duty and development of school libraries have always been inextricably tied to educational reform. Certain ideas in education have transformed libraries from the periphery to the heart of the school and made them central to teaching and learning especially in higher institutions.
School Libraries Play an Important Role in Teaching
Professionally, school librarians plays a major role as instructional partners or consultants to upgrading the school curriculum as media specialists. As specialists, they work hand in hand with the teachers in order to change what is possible in the classroom as well as supporting the learning with a wide range of reading materials, computer resources etc. (Research Foundation Paper 2008). The school library through its school librarian plays an important role in up and-coming literacy across various curriculum contexts within the scope of the school curriculum. The school librarian facilitates reading comprehension by making learners aware of their comprehension when they are involved in guided inquiry.
Teacher librarians in a school are there to support learners at the coming together of reading and information. As students understand the phases of, thoughtful reading approaches are intertwined into the material of teaching, for example, when students vigorous previous understanding, use mind mapping to take notes or enquires the author they are improving reading understanding (Gordon 2008). In the school library the teachers employ evidence based practices in their teaching which enables them to use tools like action research that demonstrate the utilization of evidence as part of action inquiry (Gordon 2006).
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