Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Abstract

The role played by school libraries in ensuring academic excellence has been vividly overlooked in most literature, and within Zimbabwe in particular. Therefore, this article looked at the contribution of the school library media centre towards the performance of pupils in selected schools within Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces between year 2009 and 2014 at a Zimbabwean school setup. The essence of a school library media centre is to provide access to diverse educational and recreational resources to enhance the performance of pupils. However, as schools were ranked every year, schools that had always topped the rankings continued to do so year in and year out. The rankings showed that schools with good grades at Ordinary Level examinations continued to perform well at Advanced Level examinations. Therefore, this qualitative study endeavored to explore the role that was played by libraries in the success of such schools. The study selected schools from Mashonaland Central and Midlands provinces in Zimbabwe that had performed well and those that did not perform well. Data was gathered using from the Zimbabwe Library Association (ZIMLA) members in the two provinces, school librarians, teacher librarians, general teachers and pupils within the selected schools. Questerviews, interviews and observations. Results of the study indicated that schools that had effective school library media centers performed better than their counterparts. The study further found out that the major hindrance that affected the effectiveness of some school libraries in information provision was lack of resources, that is human, financial and material resources. The study hence concluded that school libraries media centers played a significant role in the performance of pupils and thus it was therefore imperative for the libraries to be equipped with adequate resources that would enable their effectiveness. In addition, the study further recommends that various players in the library profession come into play in ensuring that school libraries within the two provinces are manned by individuals that have the necessary competencies and skills in library management.

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