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Community libraries : the concept and its application - with particular reference to the Pinetown community libraries

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dc.contributor.advisor Vermeulen, W.M.
dc.contributor.author Mostert, Bertha Jantine
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-24T07:22:53Z
dc.date.available 2010-08-24T07:22:53Z
dc.date.issued 1997
dc.identifier.other 253965
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/437
dc.description Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a degree of Masters of Arts in Library and Information Science from the Department of Information Studies at the University of Zululand, 1997. en_US
dc.description.abstract Since the establishment of the first libraries paradigm shifts occured, especially during times of political, social and cultural upheavals and change. It was the public library, more than any other library system, which had to continually adapt its services as its clientele changed from the privileged few who could read and write, to the masses who looked upon the library as an instrument for mass education. Although the Western public library service did not fulfil a formal educational role, it aimed to support informal and life¬long education . On the African continent public libraries were perceived as tools for mass education for a population thirsting for knowledge. Whereas in developed countries public libraries could still function by providing a relatively passive, buildings-based service, this was not possible in developing countries. What was needed to be relevant to the needs of the public, was a pro-active service, based on each specific community's needs. The ills of the public library system transplanted to Africa prevented such pro¬active and innovative services, thus leaving in its wake a disillusioned public as well as governments. Alternative approaches to rendering the services needed have been attempted, but with little sustained effort and success. At face value the South African public library system has seemed to be a well-organised and well-developed service. Unfortunately the country's political past hampered the provision of equal services to all race groups. This resulted in a service based on the needs of just one race group, excluding the majority of the population from gaining equal access to information. This situation is currently under revision, and serious efforts are being made to rectify the situation. As is the case with the rest of Africa, it would seem that far reaching adaptations to the existing service structure need to be made to enable the whole society to benefit from the services provided by libraries. Some pro-active and innovative library professionals have already started implementing alternative services to communities previously excluded from using library services provided for developed communities. These vanguard services, known as community libraries and resource centres have found innovative ways and means of serving their respective communities. The characteristics of community libraries were analysed in order to determine the functioning of this innovative system. The Pinetown community libraries aim to bring an information service to their disadvantaged communities. The research has shown that these community libraries are providing a service which has moved a considerable distance along the road of becoming a pro-active community service. Although there are still many shortcomings, the process of transformation is well under way. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Libraries and community en_US
dc.title Community libraries : the concept and its application - with particular reference to the Pinetown community libraries en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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