Using ICTs effectively to leverage global communications: the case of public libraries in Zimbabwe

Abstract
The last two decades have seen significant changes in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) landscape, resulting in a fundamental shift in public library services and skills required of public librarians. ICTs are becoming more interdisciplinary and interpersonal in nature, requiring a broader range of skills to meet ever changing end user needs. ICTs have the power to create and deliver public library products and services that are on time, within budget, and of high quality. The advent of ubiquitous computing and the birth of e-terms such as e-books, e-mail, and e-agriculture are just but small indicators of the degree of change that an information-hungry culture has experienced over the past 20-25 years. For many public library end users, ICTs are now an enabler, rather than an enigma and has become the province of a broad user base. ICTs permeate each and every aspect of our lives and public libraries are no exception. This article explores the extent to which public libraries have been affected by modern ICT’s. The paper is based on a literature review ICT usage by Public Libraries worldwide. It also looks at the current state of Public Libraries in Zimbabwe based on a snap survey conducted by the author. Globally the including of ICTs in Libraries has enabled the continued survival of the Public Library and the skills of Public Librarians have increasingly changed to embrace information architecture and information management skills. Despite many challenges facing Public Libraries in Zimbabwe, the presence and expectations of ICTs are seen as enablers for global communications.
Key words: Information and Communication Technology; ICTs; public libraries; Computers; The Internet

1. Introduction
The adaptation of ICT’s in libraries has resulted in the radical transformation of the role of library professionals and services and products provided by such institutions, argues Kawatra (1999). Furthermore, modern technology has helped to transform ‘public’ libraries from being mere warehouses to critical access centres for ‘sustainable’ information retrieval. This ICTs usage calls for a new thinking, new technologies and new strategies, which will help to ensure these public social institutions remain vibrant and relevant in providing for the dynamic information needs and access of the society. ICT uptake is an inevitable and necessary weapon for developing countries in order to contribute, shape and influence the direction of the international information order which is skewed heavily in favour of the resource endowed countries resulting in the information and digital divide. (Kevin 1996) basing his arguments’ on Ranganathan five principles describes libraries as growing biological organisms that adopt themselves over a period of time to changing environments. ICTs have become more pervasive as it now permeates all aspects of our daily lives, socially, culturally, economically and politically. In sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe included public libraries are adjusting to ICT’s amidst socio-economic and technical challenges.

2.1 ICTs and Libraries
A school of thought unpacks ICT as a combination of telecommunication and computing techniques which makes possible new systems, services and products to help people at work, in education and at home. In public libraries ICTs may be seen as the use or application of various technologies such as computer, reprographics, video recording and other electronic devices for the storage, retrieval, reproduction and dissemination of information in a library environment. The role of ICTs is that of a unified communications and the integration of telecommunications intelligent building management systems and audio-visual systems in modern information technology. Lalitha (2004) writes that ICT’s consists of all technical means used to handle information and aid communication, including computer and network hardware, communication middleware as well as necessary software. A notable and simpler way to think about ICT is to consider all the uses of digital technology that already exist to help individuals; businesses and organizations use information for sustainable development. The use of information communication driven technology is fast spreading in almost all spheres of human, social and economic endeavors (United Nations ICT Task Force, 2005). Public libraries were traditionally viewed as mere warehouses of knowledge but they have now been given a new image in the modern world. (Vinitha et.al 2006) argue that activities which were carried out in libraries with soreness and nervous tension can now be accomplished with ease through the use of ICT’s, for example, the organization of knowledge, circulation, acquisitions and other technical processing have become easier and streamlined into automated processes.

2.2 Public Libraries: Embracing the ICT (R)evolution
Public Libraries have gone through different phases from early oral traditions, ancient libraries of Alexandria (Egypt) and then print culture manifested through manuscripts, and books. These phases are well documented in ancient human narratives such as rock paintings. The invention of the printing press by John Gutenberg in the fifteenth century popularized the book culture. The medium for storage of information has developed from human memory, clay tablets, animal bones, skin parchments, manuscripts and books.
An ICT enabled Public library has gone through an evolutionary process. Traditional with print media and card catalogues – automated with print media as well as automated library functions such as Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs) – electronic with fully automated functions and CD-ROM – digital with fully automated library services using Web technologies.
The virtual library is the current twenty-first millennium library or “library without walls” providing access to resources irrespective of time and space, emphasis on access to digitized materials wherever they may be located, with digitization eliminating the need to own or store a physical item. Digital and electronic libraries can be virtual libraries if they exist only virtually — that is, the library does not exist “in real life.” A virtual library can consist of material from a variety of separate libraries that are organized in a virtual space using computers and computer networks. It does not lay claim to physical possession of documents and it relies on the global information space.

3. ICTs skills for public librarians
The skills that public librarians require for a modern public library are continuing to change due to the dynamic nature of ICTs. The impact of these ICTs has been demonstrated in the changes in the nomenclature of the traditional librarian, for example, the use of such terms like, e-librarian, cybrarians, digital librarian, and so on. Globally, public libraries are now providing a wide range of sophisticated services and this has resulted in new names to reflect the creation of new services, for example, information portals, OPACs, databases, learning and ICT’s hubs services. ICTs are being manipulated to bring new services, for example, internet cafes, virtual library services facilitating access to resources to distance learners and clientele.

4. Value for public libraries in using ICTs
Resource sharing among (public) libraries is imperative, as no single library can acquire all its needs according to (Adekunle, 1978). The concept of resource sharing is manifested through interlibrary cooperation, inter-library loans, Interlending and document supply services and other initiatives. Resource sharing activities are imperative because there is nothing like “library autarchy” and hence the inevitable need for networking. ICT uses in public libraries has been encouraged as a positive learning and recreational practice that allows clientele to learn through access to ICT’s and to a wider communication networks such as the internet. ICTs provide an extended role to public libraries by increasing the range of their services, linkages with other like-minded institutions and for sharing their resources and expertise.
Information explosion renders individual public library unable to acquire all its requirements due to prohibitive cost and limited storage space available. (Adeogun,2003) quoted by Mphidi (2004) calls for (public) libraries to utilize ICT’s to promote resource sharing at all levels, “…libraries need to establish effective resource sharing schemes. As a result of present proliferation of information, high costs of information resources and dwindling library budget; it is difficult for any library to provide all the information needs of its clients…” The utilization of ICT based networks facilitates resource sharing, inter-library collaboration, raising an awareness of existence of current and retrospective materials and the provision of access to materials. Networking through inter-institutional cooperation helps to overcome the problems of institutional insularity. ICTs provide an extended role to public libraries in terms of increasing the range of their services, linkages with institutions and for sharing their resources and expertise. Watson (2003) says networking is the key to survival in the information/knowledge driven economies.

5. Internet and the public library
The networking of people through innovative communication and computer technologies has created limitless opportunities for accessing all existing forms of social learning and intelligence. The internet is a classic example of convergence because it represents the coming together of computers and communication. The relationship between content and the technology to deliver it are now closer. The emerging convergence of technologies will result in a set of new services, solutions, infrastructures and other opportunities for example, digital technology and audio video and textual technology.
Most public libraries depend on networked infrastructures to access e-resources from funded programmes or free of use or open access such as EIFL, UNESCO, and the popular American corners among others. These provide easy access to the most diversified sources of information hosted by individuals and institutions worldwide on a vast number of servers. Gates, 1997 notes that Information Technology is adapting to the social expectations of society through integrating the old and the new, “…the network movement enabled by the internet will become fully integrated into our lives…..It will not be ‘cyberspace out there’ that we will relate to, it will be everything we do and speech will be the dominant interface. We were born with ears and mouths, after all, not keypads and mouse. The technology is adapting to it” Gates and Dertouzas (1997) states ICT’s have ushered in the age of “electronic bulldozers” whereby the human brain is expected to perform dull, boring and repetitive tasks while the computer takes over.
The Internet availability has enabled the following in Public Libraries and other settings:
• Access to current information by users.
• Online access to number of information sources like electronic journals, electronic discussion forums, technical reports, catalogues, database, abstracts, and online educational materials.
• Access to bibliographic and full text databases anywhere.
• Consortia purchasing and online access to shared resources
• Improved visibility of the public libraries, librarians and other stakeholders.

6. ICTs, public libraries and politics of information
Even though the internet is turning the world into a global village, it is also threatening to increase inequalities and disproportions between the developed and developing world, through the monolopolisation of intellectual capital by multinational and transnational corporations. ICT is a weapon in the hands of the possessed to further dispossesses the dispossessed notes Kumar (1999). This has resulted in the digital and information divide, information rich librarians and information poor librarians, librarianship of affluence and librarianship of poverty.
Durran (2002) calls for governments to subsidise the poor through provision of affordable ICT’s. Librarians in developing countries should blend culture and technology in order to create relevant local content. Public Libraries can also use modern technology to repackage oral traditions, for example, the use of podcasts, radio, and video recorders to capture human narratives that are relevant to the local culture.

7. The Zimbabwean Public Libraries’ and ICTs
An ongoing survey of Public Libraries’ use of ICTs in Zimbabwe by the author has been used to identify progress and challenges on use of ICTs. Two Libraries have been supported by the USA Embassy to establish Internet Corners – however the main purpose is to market educational opportunities by American Universities. Although there are benefits for citizens to use ICTs in global communications, this does not provide growth opportunities for individual public libraries concerned.
One Public Library in Bulawayo has 25 computers for the public use; however they report five of them are not working.
There is a great potential in most of the libraries demonstrated by the current and potential user-base. (see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1 User versus potential users

There is a limited supply of computers for both staff and library users in each of the libraries surveyed. Besides having computers in the libraries, the use is not geared towards library automation or digitization. The following figure (2) shows the distribution of computers between users and staff in the three libraries evaluated.

Figure 2 Computer for staff and users
Although most Librarians are now aware of the ICTs availability, most public libraries are still trapped in traditional librarianship. The reasons vary from funding constraints, political and economic environment, and lack of infrastructure to lack of adequately trained staff.

Survey respondents indicated the following as major constraints:
• Lack of computers and other hardware such as copiers, projectors, scanners
• Poor of lack of connectivity
• Constant breakdown of ageing computers
• No Wi-fi availability
• Lack of Funding
• Poor IT skills
There are many other contributing factors to the above listed challenges. However for purposes of this paper we can therefore conclude that contributing factors are:
• There are poor communication networks although slowly improving with ongoing fibre optic cabling
• High costs of maintaining ICT infrastructure (limited or no financial resources)
• Dependence of donations such as American corners
• Poor Policy guidelines (national and local government levels)
• Lack of transformational leadership who embrace ITCs as part of cost efficiency savings.

8. Conclusion
The study found that most Public Libraries may have computers but they are not using them for the advancement of automation and online global communications. The increasing availability of broadband offers opportunities for Public Libraries to think now and act upon resource mobilization and equipping of their staff for the digital age. Public Librarians are challenged to focus on automating their library systems of functions such as cataloging, acquisitions while also focusing on end-users to enjoy access to the Internet. Local authorities are also urged to see Libraries as enablers of the information society for the 21st century through mobilization of resources to ensure the transformation into virtual libraries embracing ICTs.

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Thriving against all odds: the case of Matenda School Library(Zimbabwe)

The establishment of School Libraries in rural areas in most African developing countries is still not of high priority, and professionals in the library field are not keen to take a leading role. The lack of incentives and benefits are contributory factors that make professionals reluctant to take the initiative and venture into the remote rural areas. However advocating for the establishment of School Libraries in rural areas is professionally rewarding as one will be able to discover the true needs of the deprived rural folks, as well as the children and their information needs so as to provide effective library and information services. With the coming of the new political dispensation in Zimbabwe, that is the inclusive government School Libraries are now very essential in rural areas, as they help to narrow the information gap that had almost widened to greater proportions in the past ten years.

The idea to have a School Library at Matenda School in rural Zvishavane was conceived as far back as far back as May 2007. Mr Bernard Magaisa, a product of this School, now a lending specialist in New Zealand, had sought to help the School to improve extra-curricula activities, by providing soccer balls, netballs, hockey, volleyball and basketball equipment, but after consulting Mr Driden Kunaka, a Librarian, and former National Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Library Association from 1995 to,1998, the later advised Mr Magaisa to engage me to go to Matenda School to inform the Matenda School Administration about the need to have a Library at the School. I set on my journey and arrived at Matenda School on 6 July 2007, and late towards the evening I immediately convened a meeting. This was a time when political campaigns were underway in rural areas of Zimbabwe. My presence was as I later learned viewed with so much suspicion, when one teacher boldly confessed, that he had thought I had come disguised as an opposition political agent, who would live them in great trouble. The news I brought them was so much convincing and I was rewarded by being invited to be Guest of Honour at their 31 July 2007, Prize Giving Day. From that day, I started to advocate for the provision of books at this School. One of my long time friends whose friend David Brine of Africa Book Centre I worked for at his stand during the 2001 Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Margaret Ling was among the first to offer me a credit line to purchase books for the School from Weaver Press, a Zimbabwean Book Publisher. On 23 November 2007, I purchased 50 books for the School and these were presented to the School on 24 January 2008. Whilst the culture of reading has died in most Schools, I was so amazed when one Grade 3 pupil volunteered to read a text “The Tale of Tamari” written by Shimmer Chinodya one of Zimbabwe’s prominent writers. The day was made more exciting by the presence of the Chief and his ginda (bodyguard). Apart from these books other books for the School were sourced from Darien Book Aid Plan. I established the Library in April 2008, this was a month after the arrival of 18 boxes of books from New Zealand sourced by Mr Driden Kunaka and Mr Bernard Magaisa from local schools in New Zealand. During that time the country was experiencing one of the harshest economic hardships in living memory, with soaring inflation that stalled the development of any activity in schools, a worst of all there was political tension, as the nation waited in bated breath for the results of March 2008 harmonized elections. I remember Mr Magaizs’s cousin Wilson Chengeta advising to postpone the journey saying through an e-mail “It has been reported that some political activists have been abducted in Harare so lets wait for things to stabilize.” A week later Wilson Chengeta drove all the way from Harare, picked me up in Gweru, and together we drove to Matenda School on a hot Saturday afternoon. The arrival of these books was a great welcome relief to the School. The School Administration engaged a carpenter and some bookshelves were hastily constructed in order to accommodate these new books.

It would be hard to imagine how a Library could be established against all the odds in such an environment. As I was to discover later on my sojourn up and down, to and from Matenda, all it takes is selfless dedication and unwavering determination. In order to arrive at Matenda School, one travels through Shurugwi (formerly Selukwe, home town to the late former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Douglas Smith). What is most intriguing and fearsome is passing through Boterekwa (a steep road that passes through a very high mountain, with blind caves where countless accidents had been experienced). Matenda School is deep in Zvishavane rural, 80 kilometers from Gweru, it was built in 1927. Once sited at Danger near Chionekano range of mountains through which Lundi River passes, the school was under Methodist Church in Zimbabwe like other schools in Zvishavane North, but has since been taken over by government through local government (Runde Rural District Council). Matenda Primary School is a cluster resource center where six schools meet to discuss academic and sporting issues. It is also a ward center where community leadership including traditional ones meets to discuss community problems and developmental strategies. Old though, the School has produced a number of notable personalities, one of whom is now a local member of parliament. Close to 500 pupils, aged between seven and thirteen years, who are all daytime pupils are enrolled at this School. The School caters for grades one up to grade seven, and the children are taught subjects such as Mathematics, English, Shona, Environmental Studies, Religious Studies, History, Home Economics and Crafts for the boys, as well as Nature Studies. A staff compliment of close to 15 teachers is involved in delivering knowledge to these poor rural pupils.

In keeping with the need to fulfill the information needs of Matenda School, for books to be available, requests for book donations is a top priority. The School wants books that are relevant to the pupils’ educational needs and those of other cultures so that they have a wider perspective of the world around them. So I had continued to put my effort and see to it that the School gets books that would be relevant to needs of the School curriculum, also that the teachers would continue to get a constant supply of Books. As someone interested in library advocacy, I had been fortunate to receive books from Darien Book Aid Plan and Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, had come in handy allocating me very useful and relevant children’s books. The present Library is in Room 14, a former classroom, converted into a Library. Internally the Library needs to be painted, and the floors also need attention. Though the door has adequate security as it is locked, there is need for a screen door. Apart from the door, the windows need to be burglar barred. Renovations on the roof are not yet up to standard, despite the Library surviving the last rainy season. The Library’s room is not that spacious, which can make it difficult to add more tables and chairs. The books though are well arranged and categorized, with a textbook section, fiction section, AIDS/HIV section and adult readers section. There are a few posters in the Library to make the internal outlook welcoming, the School was privileged to have received posters from a School Librarian based in the UK. There are though other promotional and informative posters that were donated by local book publishers and other non-governmental organizations like SAfAIDS. The School Librarian Mrs Makonese is responsible for the upkeep of the library books. Teachers borrow books for pupils and go with them to the classes, since they are knowledgeable about the reading levels of their pupils. At present the children are not allowed entry into the library since they will not be able to identify the books on their own. The teachers are heavy users of the Library and they have exhausted reading books sourced from Weaver Press, written by Shimmer Chinodya, Chenjerai Hove and Yvonne Vera, just to mention a few Zimbabwean authors. Most of the books in the Library are book donations. As stated earlier the Library has received book donations from Margaret Ling, Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, Darien Book Aid Plan (sourced), SAfAIDS, a local non-governmental organization that deals with provision of HIV/AIDS promotional material and advocacy. Of late the Library has also received a few primary textbooks from UNESCO and the EU. The Library has still a long way to go in terms of primary textbooks that will readily address the educational needs of the pupils. About three quarters of the books found in the library are mostly fiction novels, readers and rhymes that are for leisure reading. These materials have however heightened the desire to develop a reading habit among the pupils, they help develop fluent reading. There are still so many challenges though that needs to be addressed at this School. Ensuring that we have an ideal School Library with adequate resources for the children is one big challenge. The Matenda School Library Project has been largely voluntary venture on my part to assist this poor rural school so that the pupils will have access to books. Having facilitated the establishment and development of the Library, purely on a voluntary basis, traveling to and from the School, and at one time having to walk a distance of 25km to reach the school, and risking my life in the dark night, I now realize the my efforts had not been in vain However, the great challenge for the Matenda School Library Project is funding, in order to equip the library with the appropriate furniture, stationery and computer technology and other material resources. Now the School intends to launch the School Library Project. It is heartening that it is only on these occasions that those who have the financial resources play their part by helping the poor rural children, the orphans, to have pen, book, pencil tools that can assist these poor souls to learn the art of writing, thereby overcome illiteracy. There are other challenges; like need for a bore-hole and additional furniture for the classes, but this is best resolved by the Head and his Administration at this School.

For the future it is envisaged that a well-stocked School Library will be put in place to support the teaching and learning process at the School, and develop a strong resource center to benefit the Matenda Community, with the ultimate objectives to have an effective School Library, mobilize for provision of books through the sourcing of book donations, provide reading material relevant to the local needs, acquire material to address the needs of the local community and encourage a culture of reading among pupils and teachers to help nurture reading skills.

The Development of Community Libraries in Zimbabwe

In order for a developing country to achieve economic growth, it is vital that it should give full attention to the needs of its outlying communities, which are frequently ignored because of their economic and social deprivation. However, it is often these very communities that contain the seeds for growth and development. Communities in both rural and urban settings need information resources to enable them to develop to their full potential, and this can be achieved by making sure that they are provided with adequate library facilities that can act as conduits for the necessary information provision.
The development of community libraries is of fundamental significance in any country, as they are part of the human and financial capacity necessary for economic and social transformation. Having access to information is an essential requirement for a community because such access brings about much needed improvement in social life and thus less dependency on the central government. What community libraries provide is basic to the survival of rural people who otherwise do not have ready access to sources of information. The rural areas in Zimbabwe, in particular, have always lagged behind in both infrastructure and economic development, and this has led to the current situation where rural people, despite being the majority, remain marginalized.
Prior to Zimbabwe’s independence, libraries were viewed as the preserve of the small white population, and it was only they who had access to well-stocked libraries. However, soon after independence, the incoming government decided to correct the imbalance. In 1981, a library consultant, William Alison, was appointed to examine the state of libraries in Zimbabwe. In essence, this involved examining the user profile of people who used library facilities in the population at large. In his findings, he noted that 90 percent of the population lived in rural areas and had no access to libraries. He then recommended that priority should be given to developing library services in rural areas and disadvantaged communities.
Encouraged by Alison’s findings, the government went a step further in 1982 by commissioning the Swedish Library Commission to carry out another feasibility study. Their brief was: “To consider the present state of library services and their prospective development and financing, with regard to the cultural, social, economic and technical development needs of Zimbabwe.”
Emphasis was given towards the establishment of a Documentation Centre in Harare and a Culture House in each of the fifty-five rural districts of Zimbabwe. In Sweden there are well-developed community libraries that reflect and encourage the cultural heritage of the local area, so they envisaged that community libraries would be built on a similar model in Zimbabwe. Each Culture House was expected to serve as a focal point for community, social and cultural activities, with a community hall where annual agricultural shows would be held, a museum displaying artifacts depicting traditional values and folklore, an arts and crafts workshop, and a library. Students, school leavers, teachers and other user groups would use the library as a place for leisure reading. This was a very noble idea meant to address the information needs of deprived rural communities. While the National Library and Documentation Service (NLDS) Act of 1985 had planned for the fifty-five districts of Zimbabwe each to have a Culture House, none have been built since the prototype Murehwa Culture House was opened by the President of Zimbabwe amid much pomp and fanfare. Among interested organizations, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) sponsors book purchase schemes whereby rural libraries get reading material with local content, and the Zimbabwe Book Development Council (ZBDC) has made inroads into rural communities by promoting a reading culture whereby they provide school and community libraries with vouchers, using the Book Fund Project to purchase locally published books by Zimbabwean authors, thus helping these authors and nurturing indigenous languages.
Other organizations that have facilitated the establishment of community libraries in Zimbabwe include: the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library Trust, operating in Gwanda district, Matebeleland South; the Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), operating in the Matebeleland provinces and the Midlands; the Rotary clubs; the Herbert Chitepo Library Trust, which is national in outlook; and the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN), which provides an information service
Following the collapse of the Culture House project, non-governmental organizations took it upon themselves to spearhead the development of community libraries. School development committees, parent-teacher associations, rural and urban councils and other organizations have driven the development of library and information facilities in disadvantaged communities throughout the country. pertinent to women’s issues and gender. The Rural Libraries and Resources Development Programme, which is a community based not-for-profit non-governmental organization formed in 1990 with the objective of establishing and developing community libraries and information services to empower the rural population, has to date played a crucial role in the development of community libraries in Zimbabwe. The National Library and Documentation Service (NLDS), working through the National Free Library, have facilitated the establishment of 41 school/community libraries. However, these libraries are only located in Matabeleland South Province. It is the Rural Library and Resources Development Programme (RLRDP) that is credited with development of most community libraries.
According to Obadiah T. Moyo, the Secretary General of RLRDP, the organization has assisted in the establishment of “300 rural community libraries, 10 donkey-drawn mobile libraries and 130 book delivery bicycles. They provide an extension outreach service in areas where proper roads are not available. About 105 rural libraries have access to computers.”
RLRDP works through partnership with rural communities when setting up resource centres. RLRDP member libraries operate from either a primary or secondary school; they also serve as community libraries in that they cater for youth groups and communities at large. It is important to note that RLRDP uses donkey-drawn mobile libraries, two of which have Internet facilities that are powered by solar panels. It has managed to penetrate remote corners of vast districts and provided information in support of formal education, computer literacy skills, work to combat HIV/AIDS, and issues to do with gender equality and development. It is very clear that the areas that are
covered have benefited immensely, as they have been provided with facilities to train and develop expertise within their communities.
Donkey-drawn mobile libraries were first conceptualized and developed by RLRDP in the Nkayi district of Zimbabwe in 1995. It is a very important initiative that has attracted world attention, and has been recognized and commended by the World Summit on the Information Society, which indicated that access to information leads to sustainable development. The RLRDP also promotes community libraries by providing relevant reading materials, sponsoring debates in communities about issues and problems affecting daily life, providing the means and mechanisms for continuing education for everyone in the community, and pooling resources to benefit the wider spectrum of the community through networking activities. All these tasks have proved successful as they reinforce a sense of collective responsibility for the community libraries that have been established.
The further development of community libraries will depend, by and large, on the government’s willingness to support and embrace library and information services development in its national plans. In Zimbabwe, a country currently with a poor human and financial resource base because of the current economic meltdown, all efforts to develop community libraries now need concerted efforts through the co-operation of all the important stakeholders. It will also be necessary for writers, publishers, booksellers, libraries and librarians to co-operate so that community access to information is broadened. This co-operation will form the basis for sustainable use of these community libraries in all parts of the country.

Thriving against all odds: the case of Matenda School Library

The establishment of School Libraries in rural areas in most African developing countries is still not of high priority, and professionals in the library field are not keen to take a leading role. The lack of incentives and benefits are contributory factors that make professionals reluctant to take the initiative and venture into the remote rural areas. However advocating for the establishment of School Libraries in rural areas is professionally rewarding as one will be able to discover the true needs of the deprived rural folks, as well as the children and their information needs so as to provide effective library and information services. With the coming of the new political dispensation in Zimbabwe, that is the inclusive government School Libraries are now very essential in rural areas, as they help to narrow the information gap that had almost widened to greater proportions in the past ten years.

The idea to have a School Library at Matenda School in rural Zvishavane was conceived as far back as far back as May 2007. Mr Bernard Magaisa, a product of this School, now a lending specialist in New Zealand, had sought to help the School to improve extra-curricula activities, by providing soccer balls, netballs, hockey, volleyball and basketball equipment, but after consulting Mr Driden Kunaka, a Librarian, and former National Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Library Association from 1995 to,1998, the later advised Mr Magaisa to engage me to go to Matenda School to inform the Matenda School Administration about the need to have a Library at the School. I set on my journey and arrived at Matenda School on 6 July 2007, and late towards the evening I immediately convened a meeting. This was a time when political campaigns were underway in rural areas of Zimbabwe. My presence was as I later learned viewed with so much suspicion, when one teacher boldly confessed, that he had thought I had come disguised as an opposition political agent, who would live them in great trouble. The news I brought them was so much convincing and I was rewarded by being invited to be Guest of Honour at their 31 July 2007, Prize Giving Day. From that day, I started to advocate for the provision of books at this School. One of my long time friends whose friend David Brine of Africa Book Centre I worked for at his stand during the 2001 Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Margaret Ling was among the first to offer me a credit line to purchase books for the School from Weaver Press, a Zimbabwean Book Publisher. On 23 November 2007, I purchased 50 books for the School and these were presented to the School on 24 January 2008. Whilst the culture of reading has died in most Schools, I was so amazed when one Grade 3 pupil volunteered to read a text “The Tale of Tamari” written by Shimmer Chinodya one of Zimbabwe’s prominent writers. The day was made more exciting by the presence of the Chief and his ginda (bodyguard). Apart from these books other books for the School were sourced from Darien Book Aid Plan. I established the Library in April 2008, this was a month after the arrival of 18 boxes of books from New Zealand sourced by Mr Driden Kunaka and Mr Bernard Magaisa from local schools in New Zealand. During that time the country was experiencing one of the harshest economic hardships in living memory, with soaring inflation that stalled the development of any activity in schools, a worst of all there was political tension, as the nation waited in bated breath for the results of March 2008 harmonized elections. I remember Mr Magaizs’s cousin Wilson Chengeta advising to postpone the journey. A week later Wilson Chengeta drove all the way from Harare, picked me up in Gweru, and together we drove to Matenda School on a hot Saturday afternoon. The arrival of these books was a great welcome relief to the School. The School Administration engaged a carpenter and some bookshelves were hastily constructed in order to accommodate these new books.

It would be hard to imagine how a Library could be established against all the odds in such an environment. As I was to discover later on my sojourn up and down, to and from Matenda, all it takes is selfless dedication and unwavering determination. In order to arrive at Matenda School, one travels through Shurugwi (formerly Selukwe, home town to the late former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Douglas Smith). What is most intriguing and fearsome is passing through Boterekwa (a steep road that passes through a very high mountain, with blind caves where countless accidents had been experienced). Matenda School is deep in Zvishavane rural, 80 kilometers from Gweru, it was built in 1927. Once sited at Danger near Chionekano range of mountains through which Lundi River passes, the school was under Methodist Church in Zimbabwe like other schools in Zvishavane North, but has since been taken over by government through local government (Runde Rural District Council). Matenda Primary School is a cluster resource center where six schools meet to discuss academic and sporting issues. It is also a ward center where community leadership including traditional ones meets to discuss community problems and developmental strategies. Old though, the School has produced a number of notable personalities, one of whom is now a local member of parliament. Close to 500 pupils, aged between seven and thirteen years, who are all daytime pupils are enrolled at this School. The School caters for grades one up to grade seven, and the children are taught subjects such as Mathematics, English, Shona, Environmental Studies, Religious Studies, History, Home Economics and Crafts for the boys, as well as Nature Studies. A staff compliment of close to 15 teachers is involved in delivering knowledge to these poor rural pupils.

In keeping with the need to fulfill the information needs of Matenda School, for books to be available, requests for book donations is a top priority. The School wants books that are relevant to the pupils’ educational needs and those of other cultures so that they have a wider perspective of the world around them. So I had continued to put my effort and see to it that the School gets books that would be relevant to needs of the School curriculum, also that the teachers would continue to get a constant supply of Books. As someone interested in library advocacy, I had been fortunate to receive books from Darien Book Aid Plan and Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, had come in handy allocating me very useful and relevant children’s books. The present Library is in Room 14, a former classroom, converted into a Library. Internally the Library needs to be painted, and the floors also need attention. Though the door has adequate security as it is locked, there is need for a screen door. Apart from the door, the windows need to be burglar barred. Renovations on the roof are not yet up to standard, despite the Library surviving the last rainy season. The Library’s room is not that spacious, which can make it difficult to add more tables and chairs. The books though are well arranged and categorized, with a textbook section, fiction section, AIDS/HIV section and adult readers section. There are a few posters in the Library to make the internal outlook welcoming, the School was privileged to have received posters from a School Librarian based in the UK. There are though other promotional and informative posters that were donated by local book publishers and other non-governmental organizations like SAfAIDS. The School Librarian Mrs Makonese is responsible for the upkeep of the library books. Teachers borrow books for pupils and go with them to the classes, since they are knowledgeable about the reading levels of their pupils. At present the children are not allowed entry into the library since they will not be able to identify the books on their own. The teachers are heavy users of the Library and they have exhausted reading books sourced from Weaver Press, written by Shimmer Chinodya, Chenjerai Hove and Yvonne Vera, just to mention a few Zimbabwean authors. Most of the books in the Library are book donations. As stated earlier the Library has received book donations from Margaret Ling, Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, Darien Book Aid Plan (sourced), SAfAIDS, a local non-governmental organization that deals with provision of HIV/AIDS promotional material and advocacy. Of late the Library has also received a few primary textbooks from UNESCO and the EU. The Library has still a long way to go in terms of primary textbooks that will readily address the educational needs of the pupils. About three quarters of the books found in the library are mostly fiction novels, readers and rhymes that are for leisure reading. These materials have however heightened the desire to develop a reading habit among the pupils, they help develop fluent reading. There are still so many challenges though that needs to be addressed at this School. Ensuring that we have an ideal School Library with adequate resources for the children is one big challenge. The Matenda School Library Project has been largely voluntary venture on my part to assist this poor rural school so that the pupils will have access to books. Having facilitated the establishment and development of the Library, purely on a voluntary basis, traveling to and from the School, and at one time having to walk a distance of 25km to reach the school, and risking my life in the dark night, I now realize the my efforts had not been in vain However, the great challenge for the Matenda School Library Project is funding, in order to equip the library with the appropriate furniture, stationery and computer technology and other material resources. Now the School intends to launch the School Library Project. It is heartening that it is only on these occasions that those who have the financial resources play their part by helping the poor rural children, the orphans, to have pen, book, pencil tools that can assist these poor souls to learn the art of writing, thereby overcome illiteracy. There are other challenges; like need for a bore-hole and additional furniture for the classes, but this is best resolved by the Head and his Administration at this School.

For the future it is envisaged that a well-stocked School Library will be put in place to support the teaching and learning process at the School, and develop a strong resource center to benefit the Matenda Community, with the ultimate objectives to have an effective School Library, mobilize for provision of books through the sourcing of book donations, provide reading material relevant to the local needs, acquire material to address the needs of the local community and encourage a culture of reading among pupils and teachers to help nurture reading skills.

 

 

 

Book Donations bring hope to Matenda School

Somewhere along the dusty road that threads through rural Zvishavane is an old Primary School. The school is just 20 metres from the road, but what strikes most are the old buildings, classrooms and teachers’ quarters. This is Matenda School. Built in 1927, the school was once sited at Danger, near Chionekano range of mountains through which Lundi River passes.

Today is my fourth visit to this school, having first arrived there for the first time on 6 July 2007. A friend in New Zealand had tasked me to establish a School Library. How I have grown to love this school. Despite some poor infrastructure, the previous visits and welcoming atmosphere has motivated me to return to this school. True, rural schools are being neglected, and the poor parents cannot raise required resources to upgrade and maintain the structures. What has inspired me though is the level of togetherness, discipline at the school, commitment of the head and his staff and the hard work shown by the pupils. As a Librarian who loves voluntary work and with a deep commitment to support and foster the development of School Libraries out there in remote rural areas, I arrived with a box full of children’s books.

Talking of books, in Zimbabwe today, most rural schools hardly have books for reading, neither do they have a library to support the teaching and learning process. The Rural Library Development Programme has made great strides, but, it would be asking too much for them to cover the entire country. With poor government funding, rural schools find themselves struggling to meet literacy levels acceptable to world standards. The current socio-economic environment has negatively impacted on book provision in schools. Without books children cannot read, this is not a good foundation for their education. However my arrival was received with joy.

The following morning I looked forward with excitement for the Book Presentation occasion, after I had made a special arrangement with the School Head. It is the desire of every parent to see their children pull through primary, secondary, tertiary education and finally secure a rewarding career. I expected parents to throng the school, however the weather turned out to our disadvantage as it was overcast and windy.

The Deputy Head, his staff and selected pupils from all grades gathered in the grade seven classroom to witness the presentation of Book Donations. Village elders were invited and it turned out to be a memorable occasion as pupils recited poems in appreciation of the Book Donation. To the delight of all gathered, some pupils took turns to read a few chapters as others listened. I took the opportunity to capture the event with photos. What struck me is the untapped talent among some of the poor rural children.

It is through books that true relationships are built. The power of the printed word brings worlds apart together. Matenda School has potential to produce talented pupils who will one day study in overseas universities. Together let us support this school. With a small library they are building, a little help will go a long way towards touching the heart and soul of the poor rural child whose life will be enriched by a well- resourced libra

Matenda School Library Project

ADVOCACY FOR SCHOOL LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT: Lessons learnt from Matenda School Library Project in Midlands Province – Zimbabwe

Paper Presented at the

IASL-ZIMLA

Regional School Library Conference,
Masiyepambile College, Bulawayo.
8-9 February 2012

by

Hosea Tokwe
Midlands State University
P Bag 9055
Gweru
Zimbabwe
+263 -54-260023
+263-54-913 747 814
hoseatokwe@yahoo.co.uk,tokwehosea@gmail.com

Introduction
Successful advocacy is critical to a librarian’s ability to address the needs of his/her community. “Advocacy is a planned, deliberate, sustained effort to raise awareness of an issue. It’s an ongoing process in which support and understanding are built incrementally over an extended period of time and using a wide variety of marketing and public relations tools” (Canadian Association of Public Libraries 2001). In fact, advocacy is more than just lobbying for extra funding, or stating the importance of the role of the information professional within a school community, or seeking school-based support for an information skills/literacy programme. It involves advocating for excellent school library services, appropriate staffing and facilities in the context of advancing the educational opportunities of a school community. This paper chronicles my trials and tribulations as I endeavoured to develop a rural school library at Matenda School in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe.

Motivation to take on the challenge
My training and experience as a librarian enables me to see and respond to information or literacy needs of the community around me. Advocating for library development in my community has become part of me. I naturally believe in being proactive which involves the act of advocacy and playing an active role. Am I sounding crazy? Do you believe in school library development advocacy or is it a farfetched dream? Are you willing to freely offer your professional expertise in school library development for your community? Or maybe you want remuneration for such services. Your presence here today bears testimony that you share my passion for school and community library development. Coming from different political, economic, social and geographical backgrounds our cherished desire is to deliberate on how as professionals we can contribute to effective and efficient school library development. Well, as I stand before you I feel deeply honoured to present my paper.
Justification for school library development
More than 40 years ago De Perez (1971) viewed school libraries as one of the most effective ways of renovating education. De Perez’s view especially makes sense today when new technologies are threatening to reverse the literacy revolution achieved by education systems the world over. Due to the advent of technologies like laptops and social networking people rarely want to read. Resultantly, children in our schools face serious literacy and comprehension challenges. Literacy and comprehension challenges are most prevalent in Africa. The illiteracy situation is saddening in the rural communities in Zimbabwe where there is a dire lack of rural school libraries to provide reading materials for pupils and students in deprived communities. Sturges and Neill (1998, p 154) are right that there is a compelling argument within Africa’s educational system which calls for greater library involvement. It is, therefore undeniable, that in this decade our schools need assistance from libraries and librarians. School Libraries aid in uplifting student enquiry, comprehension and thinking skills. The role of a school library is further elaborated by the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto which states that school library offers learning services, books and resources that enable all members of the community to become critical thinkers and effective users of information in all formats and media.
History of Library Development in Zimbabwe
International voluntary organisations such Rural Libraries Resources Development Programme, Book Aid International, Rotary Club and Books for Africa initiated library development in Zimbabwe either through donations of books by institutions or prominent personalities teaming up to fund for construction of libraries. Though these efforts are greatly appreciated no attempt was made to assess progress made by the schools which received support from international voluntary organisations.

The Hard road to the establishment of Matenda School Library
In this section of the paper I chronicle my personal experience of conceptualising a rural school library, advocating for it and working with the local community to establish the cherished library. I conclude my paper by detailing lessons I learnt from embarking on this project.

Location of Matenda Rural School Library Project
Matenda School was built many years ago but without a School Library. Matenda School is a situated in rural Zvishavane, a distance of 80km from Gweru. According to local knowledge the school was built in 1927 and once sited at Danger near Chionekano range of mountains through which Lundi River passes. The School had once been under the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe like other schools in Zvishavane North, but is now under the Runde Rural District Council, falling now under local government. Matenda School is a cluster resource centre where six schools meet to discuss academic and sporting issues. It is also a ward centre where community leaders including traditional ones meet to discuss community problems and developmental strategies. The school has close to 500 pupils aged seven to thirteen years. There are grades one to seven classes who are all taught subjects like Mathematics, English, Shona, Science, Environmental and Religious Studies and History. Unfortunately, for all these years it has operated without a Library serve for an old storeroom where tattered textbooks, soccer and netball uniforms and marimba instruments were housed.

Rural Schools need school libraries to for student achievement. The International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) acknowledges in its School Library Manifesto (2001) that in rural areas the concept of a rural school library “is essential to every long-term strategy for literacy, education, information provision and economic, social and cultural development.” Educators the world over agree that once there is a rural school library, it will play an important and positive role in the curriculum; thereby facilitate quality education in the school. One scholar Zondi (1982) goes on to suggest that the school library is “an essential teaching aid” and “vital necessity” in rural schools. Guided by these important pointers to school library development, after lengthy communication and networking with a professional colleague and former pupil via e-mail I took up the initiative to go and establish a School Library at Matenda School.

Stages of Implementation
The implementation program began in July 2007, and involved visiting Matenda School, meeting the Head and Staff. However economic and political challenges seriously derailed our implementation schedule.

Stage 1: Meeting School Authorities
I gathered information on the transport network to this school. One needs to go on a rural ride to arrive at this school. What would be the focus of this project? My professional colleagues left all professional and social responsibility in my hands. To facilitate the initial breakthrough, I had to consult with the School Head. Working with the rural community is not an easy task; rather it calls for deep understanding of the social, political and cultural background of the community. Most often development should be locally owned, in this instance I had to seek approval from District Education Offices, however I overcame that hurdle. Thus on arrival at Matenda on 22 May 2007, I met the School Head and after a few introductions with a clear focus on this Project I pointed the main objective of my visit being:
To encourage the school to establish a school library, and thus develop a resource centre for the benefit of the Matenda community.

After meeting the Headmaster a meeting was convened. Purpose and goal of this Project was highlighted in the presence of all School Staff. A library committee consisting of Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and four teachers, with the Deputy Head being the ex-officio member was established. The responsibility of the committee would look into the stages towards achieving the successful establishment of the School Library. But there were challenges though, being at a time when political campaigns were hotting up in rural Zimbabwe, my presence as one teacher would confess later on, was viewed with suspicion as being seen as a political agent who would leave them in deep trouble. Inwardly, I learned that as I would continue to meet new people and other different stakeholders, questions would be asked, answers would be needed to justify and fully convince them that this Project was not a thinly disguised political manipulation of the rural folk. Travelling up and down also had its challenges, like the experience of missing out the only bus plying this route. I learnt that it only requires unwavering zeal, and I remember vividly travelling one night in dark the night a distance of 25km carrying a Book Donation, risking my life at a time when political violence was at its peak in rural Zimbabwe. But those are professional hazards, were one can look back and marvel at the rewards, a successful, eventual and information rich School Library to overcome information poverty.

Stage 2: Announcing the Matenda School Library Project
The next stage of project implementation was to make it known to the Matenda community at large. Accepting the platform as Guest of Honour on 31 July 2007’s School Prize Giving Day, presented me with immense challenge. For a school to attain good results it would need to be equipped with books in all subjects, ranging from fictional, non-fiction, like short story books, atlases, dictionaries to enrich textbooks and other teaching materials. It is true that when librarians and teachers work together, pupils achieve higher levels of literacy, learning, problem-solving. I emphasised that the school library and the services would be provided to all members of the school community, regardless of age, gender, language and race. Being in a rural setting this occasion helped to sensitize other local stakeholders, like the chief, councillor, headmen, parents and the School Development Association about this Project, thus it helped to manage individual perceptions where this Project might have been misconstrued as a hidden political agenda. I learnt that after presenting the case to kick-start this Project, this occasion was to be used as a campaign opportunity. As an information professional my ability to bring all people from different backgrounds to see and value and take ownership of this Project won me many hearts.

Stage 3: Deciding on the Library Setup and inputs from Library Committee
To implement this Project we decided on the following:

 Who would manage the School Library
 Would there be any need for training
 What materials and equipment would be required
 What type of resources would be acquired
 What criteria would be used to buy books
 Who would buy the books

The Library Committee members provided expert help in choice of library material, taking special consideration to age, level, relevancy and literacy as well as language. They also gave input on the local availability of skilled workers for the construction of the library bookshelves. To boost the ego of Library Committee members I highlighted the need to provide pupils with access to local, regional, national and global resources and opportunities that expose learners to diverse ideas, experiences and opinions. Also developing and sustaining in children the habit and enjoyment of reading and learning and the use of libraries throughout their life. Most rural schools do not have libraries, so none would volunteer to be given the custodianship of books, and the question of training came up. Even a general picture of an ideal library was non-existent in their minds, so would be the question of criterion to use in book purchases, and how to exercise a democratic approach to choice of subject to be prioritised.

Stage 4: Donations Presentation – International and Local Connections
Few book donations I presented on Prize Giving Day brought hope and expectation for better things to come. On the international scene, my colleague and former pupil of Matenda went on an appeal for library books in New Zealand. This all was aided by reports and photos about Matenda I sent to convince potential donors. On my part I convinced a friend working for Africa Book Collectives in the UK about the Project and need for local relevant books to meet local needs. She offered a credit line worth US$200 for purchase of books from Weaver Press. The 23rd of November 2007 saw me purchase 50 books mostly by local authors, and the Publisher of Weaver Press gave a donation of 20 more books. Apart from these donors, other donors included Darien Book Aid Plan all the way from United States. All this was happening at a time when the country was experiencing one of the harshest economic hardships in living memory, with soaring inflation that stalled the development of any activity in schools. Early in March, we received great news that a consignment of books was on its way ironically sourced from New Zealand. These books were sourced by Wainciomata Intermediate School, New Zealand and sourced by Nanetta Meadows and after being bought at local Rotary Club Community Book Fair. The 18 boxes of books arrived at the School in March 2008. This was followed by a book presentation at the school, with the local chief present to grace the occasion.

Stage 5: Library Setup
With books now available next stage was setting up the Library. A budget was worked out for construction of shelves in Room 14, a classroom that had been set aside for Remedial Lessons. With my own financial assistance, funding from a colleague from New Zealand, and the former pupil a local carpenter did a quotation and material was purchased. Local material was used in the construction phase. A Library Setup Committee decided on the different sections of the library, Reference Section, Textbook Section, HIV/AIDS Section, Fiction Section, Non-Fiction Section and Adult Readers’ Section. The School was privileged to receive posters, promotional and informational materials from a School Librarian based in the UK, as well as Non-governmental organisations such as SAfAIDS and local Book Publishers.

Stage 6: Matenda School Library Launch
The Matenda School Library Project has been a hard road to travel. Having thrived against all odds, the School Library was finally launched on 16 July 2010. Some hiccups here and there have characterised the road we have travelled. The political standoff and economic meltdown slowed progress. The Zimbabwe dollar suffered major slump resulting cash flow problems most felt in rural areas, thus the Library Committee agreed in principle to Holt the Project. With the sudden turnaround of the economy, 2010 saw plans now being made to launch the Matenda School Library. The prelude to the launch saw me hold meetings with the Library Committee, and inviting the School Development Committee, the Councillor, the Headman, and Chief Matenda. A deliberation revolved around the Library launch to coincide with the Prize Giving Ceremony. There were lessons learnt, the Chief gave his blessings and got approval to invite other Chiefs to grace the occasion. Purely, the essence of the launch would provide flavour of the local community to come and celebrate an achievement never seen before. On the honoured day a lot of activities were lined up, a Speech by the Local Chief, Local Councillor, School Head, the Guest of Honour, me as facilitator of the Project and a Vote of Thanks from a neighbouring School Head. Also lined were songs, poems by pupils, drama and entertainment was provided by the School Marimba Group. The former pupil of the school acknowledged the hard work I had done in mobilising, the school authorities and convincing them to accept the noble cause. He also deeply appreciated my understanding of respect for the local community, the parents and the elderly, especially seeking their approval of the local chief in every step throughout the Project phases. Looking back, it may seem like the final gathering and presence of all stakeholders to witness the event was all that counted, but there are lots of lessons lent.

Lessons learnt from My Personal Experience of Developing a School Library
My personal experience of developing Matenda Rural School taught me several things about school library development. First, to successfully establish a library involves standing out for the cause or felt need of the stakeholders (in this case the community). Second, one has take full personal responsibility, believing in self, and voluntarily going out all the way to sell out libraries and ourselves as librarians with felt need for Schools at heart. Despite being aware that advocacy implies being mindful of the real or key stakeholders, at first it was no easy stroll to capture interest of the community and also accommodating their expressed needs. Ahead of me I would meet up with challenges and trials in fighting the rural populace’s perception of the role of the library. I discovered that I had to fight the myth that the library would not stock any political information but included relevant and locally produced education materials to put them at ease on the specific agenda of the Library Project.

Lessons learnt
There are particular lessons which have been learnt as a librarian:-
– I could tell the community had many unanswered questions to ask, like who are we? What do we stand for?
-I discovered that to be truly proactive in school library development one has lead by putting values up front, as well as spreading the good word, the myth and the story of change of the mindset whilst remaining truly professional.
-In Africa’s rural setting I discovered that when you are an outsider you are accepted and accommodated. Thus my professional neutrality enabled me to accommodate views of different stakeholders.
-The role of the Library Committee is critical. Being chair I had to encourage discussion and maintain the Committee’s focus while keeping the objectives of the Project in mind.
-I had to fight divergent individual perceptions of the members as some sought reward while I held on to the principle of volunteerism and the spirit of togetherness to achieve the intended goal, establish a School Library.
-Coming up with an ideal School Library presented great challenge, there being no money and time to train in basic School Library Management, like book accessioning, knowledge organisation, circulation procedures and custodianship.
-However for effective Project implementation core groups and chairperson need to have incentives to participate actively. Relying on goodwill is, in the long run, unsustainable. Remuneration for core group might be a consideration.
-Proper allocation of time, budget and personal resources to Project successful implementation needs strong emphasises.

Conclusion
The success of rural school library development can come to if and when there is government involvement and a blueprint to re-establish the School Library Service in the relevant Ministry. In the process standards will have to be looked at to ensure that school libraries are established throughout rural Zimbabwe. Also, basic requirements in every school library in terms of infrastructure, material resources, and appropriate manpower will need to be spelt out. For Matenda School it is envisaged that a well-stocked School Library will be put in place to support the teaching and learning process. The School looks forward to mobilise for provision of relevant locally produced books to address the needs of their local community and to encourage a culture of reading among pupils and teachers to help nurture reading skills.

References
ALIA & ASLA 2004, Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians, Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association, viewed 11 December 2004, http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.htm

Canadian Association of Public Libraries 2001, Library Advocacy NOW!, Canadian Library Association, viewed 20 January 2005, http://cla.ca/divisions/capl/advocacy/index.htm

Hartzell G 2002, ‘The hole truth’, School Library Journal, viewed 21 January 2005, http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA225242.html
De Perez, V(1971) ‘Modernising Education in Latin America through School Libraries”, School Libraries, Vol 20, No. 2 pp. 36-40

Lance, K(2000) How School Libraries can help kids achieve standards: the second Colorado study, Hi Willow Research and Publishing, Castle Rock, CO.

Mitchell P 2005, ‘Workshops to raise awareness’, Access, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 29-30

Mugara, E., Nyamba, J.B.(2004), “Towards a School Library Development Policy for Uganda,” Library Review, Vol. 53, No. 6 pp. 313-322

Olen, A(1995)”Academic success and School Library Use”, SCHOOL Libraries Worldwide, Vol 1. No. 1, pp. 69-79

Sturges, P AND Neill, R(1998) The Quiet Struggle: Information and Libraries for the People of Africa, 2ed , Mansell Publishing, London.

Zondi, O.T.(1982) ‘The School Library as a power centre in education”, African Library Association Newsletter, Vol 6. Pp. 11-19