THE PURPOSE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARY
THE PURPOSE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARY
The subject of education is man's capacity to learn, to organise learning, to communicate this learning as knowledge to other members of his species, and to act on the basis of learning and knowledge. (Golsin, 1965). According to develop his mental capacity so as to equip him for a particular function in a developing programme. It also places importance on the human factor in development, which enables man to shape his own history.
Malue (1968) argued vehemently that a country will never be developed unless education is improved, as greater education enables maximum utilisation of human resources.
Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which school libraries contribute to the promotion of quality primary education. In addition, it will investigate the obstacles to the effective utilisation of school libraries in primary education, and will conclude with suggestions for enhancing school library service.
Primary Education and School Library
The role that libraries play in establishing a solid educational foundation for students has been lauded in library literature, but the American Library Association summed it up best when it stated:
Whatever form the child's education-related soul-searching may take sooner or later, it must take into account the schools' library resources.
The school library exists so that students can take advantage of emerging trends in educational thought and practise…, be exposed to them over time, and endow them with intellectual curiosity, desirable learning, and reading habits. The character of a child's education is largely determined by the extent to which the child and the teacher are exposed to the knowledge stored in libraries. (Anene, 1972).
The school library provides students with the knowledge, education, and enlightenment necessary for the complete development of their talents and skills, which are essential for national development. Any effective educational system necessitates the systematic use of reading materials provided by libraries, whereas any education programme lacking adequate library provision beginning in elementary school results in a weak foundation at the elementary level, ineffective secondary education, ineffective higher education, and the absence of lifelong, integrated adult education.
Therefore, for an education programme to be successful, library services must begin in elementary school. Any primary education without a library not only degrades the quality of, but also leads to a loss of manpower after elementary school. (Fafunwa, 1966).
1) Seeking to satisfy the needs of students and educators.
2) Providing juvenile boys and girls with the library materials and services necessary for their individual growth and development.
3) Stimulating and guiding students throughout all phases of their reading so that they experience growing enjoyment and satisfaction and develop critical judgement and appreciation.
4) Providing students with opportunities to develop beneficial interests, make satisfactory personal adjustments, and acquire desirable social attitudes.
5) Assisting students in becoming discerning users of library and printed and audiovisual materials.
Through these activities, the school library serves as a service agency, a teaching agency, and a materials and reading centre.
A Service Provider
As a service agency, the library furthers the school's goals by providing materials for all subjects and student interests, as it distributes books and other materials to all study centres, classrooms, and other required locations. Students, teachers, classes, and individuals from all areas of the school visit the library to use books, magazines, visual aids, locate information, and read.
An Educational Agency
The library functions as an educational institution when it recommends reading materials for specific subjects and provides a variety of materials for developing and expanding interests. It also serves as a teaching agency by teaching students how to locate information in reference materials and how to take notes.
It encourages and teaches informally through its bulletins, posters, guides, and exhibits, as well as its inviting appearance and ambiance.
A Resource and Reading Center
The library serves as a resource and reading centre where students and teachers can readily obtain books, films, images, and other informational materials. simple cataloguing classification, shelving, filing, and displays facilitate retrieval by students and instructors, allowing for simple location. (Okonkwo, 1986).
An effective library service for students necessitates the careful selection of books to provide curriculum-enhancing and -supporting materials, taking into account the students' diverse interests, abilities, and maturity levels. Selection necessitates a careful examination of the curriculum by teachers and librarians in order to provide materials that foster development in factual knowledge, library appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards – the only goals of primary education.
Therefore, books are chosen based on their superiority, accuracy of knowledge, integrity of treatment, and moral worth. They include materials that are up-to-date and relevant to the environment and requirements of the students, as well as those that help the students develop, under guidance, the skills of critical reading and thinking. (Ogunsheye, 1969).
One of the obstacles that must be overcome in educating our children is the absence of a spirit of inquiry, which stems from a lack of interest in topics or literature outside the curriculum and leads to a lack of initiative in discovery, fact-finding, and independent learning. But one of the fundamental goals of primary education is to eliminate this barrier, and the school library is a veritable education agency for achieving this.
The Librarian-Teacher and Primary Education
Due to his training in both education and librarianship, the teacher-librarian contributes significantly to the efficient use of the school library in achieving educational goals.
His knowledge of educational psychology enables him to comprehend children, while his training as a librarian makes him well-versed in all varieties of books and learning materials. Also, his expertise in teaching methods enables him to encourage students and instructors to use books and the library because he knows his readers and books so well. (Douglas, 1979).
He employs numerous strategies to promote the use of library materials. He encourages students to read by providing reading lists, beautiful displays and book jackets, recommending magazines and newspapers for use by students and instructors, and recommending books for the extracurricular interests of students.
In addition, he brings students to the library for leisure reading and research, and he draws students' attention to new information by affixing articles and clippings to bulletin boards.
Junior students are not excluded from the librarian's influence on motivation. He organises poetry hour during library periods so that children can peruse poetry books, discover, and read aloud or silently poems for their own personal enjoyment. The library periods are also utilised by students to peruse the stacks and discover items of interest.
An additional essential programme for children in the library is the study hour, during which the teacher tells, reads or plays recorded stories. Through these programs, Liberian teachers arouse children's interest in reading and progressively instill the practise of using the library for all forms of education.
The educator-librarian encourages other educators to utilise the library. By notifying teachers of newly received books and materials, sending teachers a list of interesting magazine articles, involving teachers in the selection of library materials, and promptly responding to teachers' requests, he assists teachers in achieving the educational goals of the school.
The library can only contribute to the achievement of these goals when teachers educate through the library, when teachers educate through the library, and when the teacher-librarian cultivates positive attitudes towards the library's use, because libraries rely on the knowledge, values, and abilities of teachers.