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66th IFLA Council and General

Jerusalem, Israel, 13-18 August


Code Number: 147-121-E
Division Number: VI
Professional Group: Library Buildings and Equipment
Joint Meeting with:
Meeting Number: 121
Simultaneous Interpretation: Yes

A way forward for co-operation between school and public libraries: draft National Guidelines for the co-operation between school and public libraries in South Africa


South African National Committee for Co-operation between Public and School Libraries

Members (alphabetical order):

Cillié, R (Deputy Director, Meta-Information, Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology)
Hendrikz, F (Deputy Director, Mpumalanga Provincial Library)
Jonas, N (Provincial Co-ordinator for Education Libraries, Eastern Cape Department of Education)
Kithing, B (Chief Education Specialist, Free State Department of Education)
Koekie, M (Deputy Director, Gauteng Provincial Library Information Services)
Maseko,G (Assistant Head, Springs City Council Library, on behalf of LIASA)
Matlala, J (Deputy Director, Centre for Education Technology and Distance Education, Department of Education)
Mulaudzi, M (Director, Northern Province Library Services)
Nzimande, S (Director, Education Library, Information & Technology Services, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education)


Yutaka Kikugawa
Programme Officer, UNESCO Pretoria
South Africa


The choice and presentation of the facts contained in this paper, and the opinions expressed therein, are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNESCO or National / Provincial governments in South African.

1. Why Should Public And School Libraries In South Africa Co-Operate?

With the first democratic election in 1994, the new government of South Africa made a commitment to transform the country into a truly democratic, non-racial and just society, whose principles are characterised by the new South African Constitution (Government of Republic of South Africa (GRSA), 1996a). This commitment is embodied in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP)1 and affirmed by the statements of the president and cabinet members after the second democratic election held in 1999. One of the national political priorities for the current (second) term of the African National Congress (ANC) lead government as stated by President Mbeki is that "government departments deliver integrated purposeful services to their clients and in partnership with their clients." The President used the word "Faranani", which means; "supporting each other" in Venda to describe this partnership (Office of the Presidency, 1999). Government has also committed itself to a transformed public service (GRSA, 1999a) with its 9 transformational principles and to improved service delivery by putting the people first as described in the Batho Pele (meaning People first in Sepedi) White Paper (Department of Public Service, 1996). It is thus clear that the national political and legal agenda emphasise the working together of government departments for improved service delivery to its clients.

These principles are further enhanced by the two national ministries responsible for school and public libraries in South Africa, namely, the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACTS) for public libraries and the Department of Education (DoE) for school libraries.

The Minister of Education has developed his Tirisano action plan. Tirisano means "working together" in SeTswana. The plan tries to address the weaknesses of the education system by working together with other state departments on integrated, targeted projects for rural and urban regeneration (Asmal, 1999). For instance, the campaigns for increased parental involvement and that schools should become centres of community life through the utilisation of the school facilities for the wider community including the use of school library facilities. The Minister has also stated that government departments should work together so that when schools are build, they have water and sanitation, they are electrified at the same time, they are properly staffed and they are supplied with the necessary equipment and materials and that the learners and staff at the schools are protected (Asmal, 1999).

Principles of co-operation and working together are also embodied in the DoE's national school library policy document (DoE, 1999) where 7 different delivery models for library services are proposed. Four of these delivery models are based on principles of co-operation with other library and information service providers.

The concept of the first model is One school, One library. In this model, possible option for the co-operation is a library with dual purposes. A library is expected to provide learners with services during "school time" and service an adult population after school hours. In this regard, an agreement should be signed by all parties in terms of stock, responsibilities and equipment. To support smooth functioning of the partnership a user committee and advisory body should be established. The second model is based on the concept: One Classroom, One library. The mechanism of block loans from public libraries could be utilised to realise this model. A public library can deliver a pre-arranged box of books with a professional librarian service to schools and even provide specific in-service training programs to teacher-librarians. The third model is based on the concept: One community, One library where block loans, a mobile service, common information technology platform, the housing of basic equipment such as photocopier and fax machine, sharing human resources and joint training are possible mechanisms of co-operation. Also, the possibility

1RDP is a state-centred national programme aiming at redressing inequalities among different racial groups created during the period of the Aparheid regime (ANC1994). Since 1998, RDP has been replaced by the more market-orientated programme called Growth, Economy and Redistribution (GEAR).

to work together with multi-purpose community centres (MPCCs) should not be underestimated. The fourth model defined as: One region (district, circuit) One library where co-operation is formalised to the extent of the integration of public and school library services. From the above, it is clear that national policies and implementation strategies rely on principles of co-operation and working together of library and information services providers such as school libraries, public libraries, information and resource centres.

The national policy framework of DACST echoes these principles of co-operation, improved service delivery and transformation of the information providing agencies in South Africa (DACST, 1996). Reports that resulted from policy investigations during the 1990's pointed out that the need for a national advisory council for library and information services (LIS) existed to serve as a mechanism to achieve co-ordination of the national strategy within the LIS system (Cillié, forthcoming). This was reaffirmed by a recommendation to promulgate a Bill concerning this issue, which was made in 1997 by the Interministerial Working Group (IMWG) on LIS functions at national level (DACTS and DoE, 1997). The objective of the Bill, which is at present debated in the National Assembly, is to establish a council to advice both ministers of DACST and DoE on matters relating to the development and co-ordination of LIS, promotion of co-operation, legislation, policies to govern allocation of public funds, deficiencies and priorities of the LIS system, promotion of literacy and utilisation of information technology (IT) (Cillié, forthcoming).

Another aspect of the legal and policy context in South Africa deals with the powers and functions assigned to the 9 provincial governments as determined by the Constitution. Of special importance to school and public library service provision is the decision-making powers regarding funding and provision of services which are to be found at different levels in the system. The decentralisation of power, authority and functions from national to provincial and local levels has implications for the provision of school and public library services and also for possible co-operation. A brief description of this process is as follows:

The national government promulgates laws and policies which provinces have to implement. Provinces receive funding from the national government according to an equity share formula and then have the constitutional prerogative to determine the distribution of these resources between the different provincial government departments (GRSA, 1996a). The different government departments then, upon receipt of their share of the provincial budget, have the prerogative to allocate portions of their budgets to their programmes.

The absence of national norms specifically for the allocations of resources to school and public libraries, together with the powers of provincial governments in the allocation of funding, result in inequality and infrequent budget commitments to public and school libraries in the different provinces (HSRC, forthcoming). So, the fact that the executive authority of delivering education is vested in the hands of the provincial Departments of Education may bring about unequal library service provision in the different provinces. This means that past imbalances are not alleviated and equity in library service provision remains an ideal. Such a situation is now further compounded by the new Local Government Municipal Structure Act, about to be implemented, which determines that local authorities are no longer obliged to deliver functions as defined in the constitution (GRSA, 1998). This means that the establishment of public libraries can only be assigned to a municipality by the agreement between the provincial and local authorities and only if the municipality has the capacity to administer this responsibility. Local authorities and provinces not having the resources to execute these functions may now refuse to accept such responsibilities. Provinces can legally assign these functions to local authorities through legislation but local authorities can then say: "When you assign these functions to us, it is an unfinanced mandate. Do not assign the responsibility without also assigning the necessary resources to implement the mandate". The responsibility to deliver specific services may be passed up and down the ladder from national to provincial and local levels and back again. This impacts negatively on the quality of service delivery and co-operation between the sectors.

What is the reality of the context in which the abovementioned policies, laws, and regulations have to be implemented and school and public libraries have to deliver their services?

As we mentioned above, "over the past 5 years, the ANC led government has put in place a new constitution which guides South African citizens in building a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society, swept away racist and oppressive laws and introduced new laws which provide for change, changed the structures of the public service, spearheaded the use of affirmative action in all important social areas and established a new public administration to implement the new policies" (ANC, 1999b). Yet there are still two worlds and realities in South Africa which exist side by side. These are "the first world", which is characterised by affluence and "the third world, which is characterised by poverty. "The first world" is predominantly "white" while "the third world" is predominantly "black" (Mulaudzi 1991 and Office of the President, 1999)

Why are things like this? South Africa has a legacy of massive poverty and underdevelopment for the majority of its citizens, backlogs created by unequal budget allocations in the past, which were based on racial and ethnic discrimination (Asmal, 1999). At present, millions of South African adults and young people cannot read or write in any language and many millions more are functionally illiterate (Cape Argus, 1999). 40% of the population above 15 years of age cannot put their reading and writing skills to any useful purpose and cannot manipulate numerical concepts (The Daily News, 1997). This lack of information literacy skills is exacerbated by a general lack of a reading culture (Le Roux, 1999 and Taylor and Vinlevold, 1999). One in five South Africans in senior positions have not read a magazine or newspaper or any other printed matter during a research week in 1998 (Financial Mail, 1998). Further research indicates that 60% of learners have less than 26 books in their homes and 92% of South African learners do not have a computer in their homes (Die Volksblad, 1998).

Solutions to the above state of affairs are not forthcoming from the existing system of education and training which has major weaknesses (Asmal, 1999) with the most troublesome being:

  • The massive inequalities in access and facilities, in particular poor people in all communities of which the overwhelming majority are rural Africans continue to attend decrepit schools without water, sanitation, electricity, telephone, library or laboratory (Asmal, 1999). Only about 40% of schools have a school library. This figure include different library models ranging from a central library to classroom selections and mobile libraries (HSRC, forthcoming).
  • Poor quality of learning and teaching probably most crudely demonstrated in the performance of Grade 12 learners at the exit point in the school education system. In 1999, despite South Africa allocating 21,3% (R40 billion in 1998) of the national budget to education, the national average pass rate was only 49,9% and by comparison our learners perform very badly in internationally standardised tests of mathematics and science (Asmal, 1999, DoE, 2000 and UNESCO-UNICEF MLA Project, 2000). Definitely this is not good value for the investment of taxpayers money.
  • The serious state of morale of the teaching force, which has a variety of reasons (Taylor and Vinlevold, 1999), one being the rationalisation and redeployment of teachers (Asmal, 1999). This has impacted negatively on the provision of teacher librarians because the first teacher "sacrificed to leave the establishment of a school" due to the rationalisation process, was the teacher-librarian and many functioning school libraries were rendered in-effective and became dysfunctional as a result (The Teacher, 1998). This despite the greater need for resource based learning and teaching as part of the implementation of the new outcomes based education system, which can only be implemented if learners have access to a variety of information resources and develop information skills which necessitates a functioning school library system (DoE, 1997).
In spite of these curriculum needs for adequate school library provision, a recent audit on the level of school library provision and utilisation reveals that there are about 2,4 books per pupil (HSRC, forthcoming). Ideally there needs to be at least 12 books per pupil at high school level and even more books per child at primary school level (Machet and Olien, 1997). Other important factors for a functioning school library system are also lacking. For example, most schools do not have library committees, which plays a role in the development of school library policies because very few school governing bodies allocate funding for their libraries (HSRC, forthcoming). Also, the survey elucidates that various kinds of Information Technology (IT) are used in only 5% of school libraries (HSRC, forthcoming).

According to international standards, every 25 000 people should have a public library (Die Beeld, 1997) but there are only 2 000 public libraries in South Africa for its 40 million citizens (Witbooi, 1997). Public library services are provided by local government / municipalities or provincial public library services or a combination of these. The transitional local governments have faced many difficulties: the backlog of municipal services and infrastructure, transforming racially divided local government, the culture of non-payment, and resistance of ratepayers in some former white areas (ANC, 1999b).

LIS in South Africa is therefore characterised by a mix of information provision, by means of advanced IT based services to a mainly academic, business and scientific user group on the one hand and rudimentary or non-existent library provision to the majority of the population on the other. The services are still mainly delivered along race, class and urban-rural lines (DACST and DoE, 1997). In the political and social contexts, the reality of the level of service delivery and available resources demand co-operation in South Africa. Because despite the political reforms and statements and documents, the reality is still as we knew it under apartheid. To bring about real transformation it is imperative that public and school libraries work together and share resources and expertise.

2. International Experiences of Co-Operation Between Public and School Libraries

These South African sentiments are affirmed by international experience in other countries regarding co-operation between different LIS services sectors in the transformational context and even outside such change processes. Ironically, it is interesting to note that, with extra funding from big corporations and businesses, developed countries, which are regarded to have already gone through transformation process tend to record positive experiences on LIS co-operation whilst developing countries in the middle of turbulent reform period do not.

For example, in Sweden, 25 per cent of the public branch libraries are situated in schools (Knuth, 1994) and in Norway, a specific unit called the School Department, which is created within a central public library, has been assigned to provide service to the schools (Øyno, 1996). In the case in Norway, the librarian's salary is paid by the public library while the clerk's by the school authorities, who also finance the special book collection and stock. Also, in the US, Coalition of Libraries to Expand Access to Resources, a group of small isolated public and school libraries in eastern Washington State links those institutions to CD-ROM databases through a dial-up access. A library user can access a CD-ROM database in another library through the software product, Norton PC Anywhere and print out a useful article immediately because each library has a stand-alone computer with a CD-ROM drive, a modem and a printer (Reng in Le Roux, 1999).

In contrast, in Tanzania, out of the ten joint school / public libraries which were established with the assistance of Scandinavian countries in the early 1970's, only one was still operational at the time of 1994 (Tawete, 1994). Reasons for the failure are many but, amongst all, it can be explained by the managerial factor, that is, who owns the library while it is at school? Both the heads of schools and the Tanzania Library Service Board wanted to exercise powers over the library. This simply resulted in confusion among library staffs who did not know for whom they were responsible.

3. What then is the Situation in South Africa Regarding the Co-Operation Between Public and School Libraries?

As mentioned before, DACTS and DoE jointly organised the IMWG on LIS functions at national level and stressed the need for establishing a national advisory council for LIS. Until such a body is established it was proposed in 1997 that there should be an Inter-Departmental Co-ordinating and Planning Committee (ICPC ) for LIS (DACST and DoE, 1997).

There is a council of ministers, consisting of the ministers of a specific national department (e.g. DACST and DoE), plus Members of the Executive Councils (MECs) of the Provinces concerned with specific portfolios such as culture and education. This structure referred to as MINMEC is a mechanism to achieve co-ordination for the management and governance of the different library and information sectors, linking national and provincial governance structures. Also, similar mechanisms exist for all the heads of both national and provincial departments (HEDCOM), all the heads of education LIS (SCHELIS) and all the heads of public LIS (LIS Subcommittee)2 .

Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) has repeatedly emphasised that the co-operation between public and school libraries could be one of the most practical methods to save scarce human and financial resources, especially in disadvantaged communities. At the last LIASA annual conference in 1999, it was re-affirmed that such a co-operation could realise a democratic and co-ordinated LIS in South Africa in the new millennium (Massawe and Ncongwane, 1999).

Notwithstanding these verbal commitments, neither a national advisory council nor ICPC has been established yet. Very few attempts to co-ordinate both public and school library activities have been undertaken at macro level, though there have been some innovative initiatives at micro level (details in section 4 (8) of this paper). In most of the nine provinces, there is no mechanism to have direct communication between policy makers in the field of public libraries and those in school libraries.

UNESCO has a global and an inter-sectoral project called "Reading for all" aiming at promoting the practice of reading among those disadvantaged group of people (UNESCO, 1999). Within the framework of this global initiative, hence, UNESCO Pretoria Office recognised the strong need for co-operation among South African LIS stakeholders and eventually offered to act as facilitator and organise a national consultation workshop between the public and school library sectors in South Africa with the purpose of compiling national guidelines for co-operation between those sectors. With an extra support from the American Embassy in Pretoria, the national consultation workshop managed to bring together all the LIS stakeholders including both national and provincial government officials responsible for LIS plus resource persons from all over South Africa in November 1999. It was the first initiative of its kind in South Africa and was considered successful in terms of identifying the priorities to realise the real co-operation between school and public libraries. In fact, we, the members of the national committee for LIS co-operation, were unanimously appointed by all the workshop participants in order to perform the task of drawing up the above mentioned national guidelines.

4. The Guidelines

As a first step the national committee had to arrive at a common understanding of what the guidelines should realise, namely the creation of a facilitative environment for non-formal co-ordinated service delivery at local level. Furthermore the guidelines should address the core problem of a lack of co-operation between school and public libraries despite political, legal and policy statements compelling co-operation between different government departments. The guidelines should also address the reality of the existing LIS in South Africa and that the decision-making powers for integrated service delivery at school and community levels are vested at national, provincial, district and local levels in the different government departments. To sum up, the guidelines should facilitate the process of co-operation between public and school libraries.

Through all the efforts of the national task team made up of representatives from the public and school library sectors and UNESCO Pretoria as facilitator, 9 fields of co-operation, namely, 1) Legal and Policy issues, 2) Management and governance issues, 3) Funding norms and standards and the process and system for purchasing, 4) Marketing, 5) Training norms and standards, 6) Norms and standards for the selection of information resources, 7) Resource sharing and 8) Existing examples of co-operation between public and school libraries, were identified. The guidelines themselves are in the final editing stages before submission for discussion. No doubt some of the fields in the guidelines are uniquely South African phenomena but the topic like the needs for a common IT platform could be a global agenda when talking about the co-operation between school and public libraries.

(1) Legal and Policy issues

2MINMEC is Ministers and Members of the Executive Councils. HEDCOM is Heads of Departments Committee. SCHELIS is Standing Committee of Heads of Education Libraries and Information Services.

A number of legislation and policy documents that deal with libraries and have a bearing on libraries were scrutinised. School libraries are only mentioned indirectly in education legislation (GRSA, 1996b and 1996c). Provincial governments have the competency to legislate on all provincial library matters and provinces are in the process of drafting public library legislation. The majority of the provincial draft legislation empowers the responsible political heads, that is, MECs to draft regulations that may accommodate and foster co-operation with other library systems. School Governing Bodies have also the authority to decide on the utilisation of the schools property, including library sites and library resources (GRSA, 1996b).

Hence, the existing legislation do not restrict co-operation and it is therefore up to library authorities to explore the existing legislation and policies to realise co-operation. Co-operation agreements can be entered into by both library systems. The establishment of a common LIS Council at national and provincial levels will facilitate the co-operation between the school and public library sectors, especially in the legal and policy areas.

(2) Issues of management and governance

The South African Schools Act has implications for libraries arising from the functions of above mentioned school governing bodies, the ownership of the school property and resources and the prescriptions for school governance along democratic principles so that parents, teachers, learners and non-educator staff share responsibility for decision-making at institutional level (GRSA, 1996b). When school governing bodies prepare their annual budget, such a budget should make provision for access to library-based resources. The Schools Act states that all assets acquired by a public school are the property of the school even if such resources are shared with other schools or institutions like public libraries.

After the implementation of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act later this year, it will be illegal for a local government to provide library services unless provincial legislation has been passed within which responsibilities have been assigned (GRSA, 1998). For co-operation to be possible it is necessary for all stakeholders and decision-makers to understand the legal framework and how it impacts on their management responsibilities throughout the system from national to provincial and local levels. Advocacy in this regard is necessary.

(3) Funding norms and standards and the process and system for purchasing

The allocation of funds for library services is an important element for co-operation. Policies concerning funding are indeed good indicators for the possibility of meaningful co-operation. Current funding patterns differs much from province to province. Some of the poorest provinces have no norms and standards for funding while others have budgeting norms already in place. For a meaningful co-operation on funding, a written agreement that guides concerned parties is an essential pre-requisite. It is acknowledged that in view of Public Financial Management Act, Treasury Instructions and other related financial policies, permission to co-operate may be required by treasury or finance ministry (GRSA, 1999b). It is also imperative that the source of funding should be sustainable. School and public libraries should develop a joint strategic plan detailing all areas of co-operation as well as responsibilities. Fundraising strategies need to be determined and all that which needs to be funded should be identified.

(4) Marketing

Librarians in South Africa have realised that it is important to develop joint strategies in marketing the importance of reading and the utilisation of libraries. Many South African are ignorant of the difference between public and school libraries and it is for this reason that we should not accentuate the differences. Librarians should paint one picture about libraries, i.e. they should speak with one voice. It is important to jointly co-ordinate important days such as the World Book Day, International Literacy Day and South African Library Week. These celebrations provide librarians the opportunities to demonstrate to society that they can make a difference by identifying a common publicity theme. In this sense, it is important to avoid portraying that one library system is more important than the other.

Above all, for any lobbying regarding funding and employment issues, it is highly significant to speak with one voice. For instance, joint planning for fundraising projects, study tours and staff development programmes are very important. It should also be mentioned that representation on provincial and local committees by the different library sectors and non-governmental organisations could yield good results.

(5) Training norms and standards

The youth are the major library client. Training of librarians should take this into consideration. School and public libraries should work together in preparing training manuals for librarians and clients - this should be in accordance with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) framework. There should be collaboration with higher education institutions for input into their library and information curriculum, co-ordination of research programmes and so on. Accreditation of non-formal training programmes and the standardisation of in-service training (non-formal) programmes are some areas of co-operation that need to be explored. School and public library sectors should advocate for different formal qualifications as offered by higher education institutions3 and deliver joint non-formal training programs on the following topics; User education, Information accessing skills, Cataloguing and classification, Indexing, Determining user needs, Marketing of services, Using electronic media, Presenting reading programmes, Creating a culture of reading, reading motivation and the importance of reading, Book education, Administration and management of information resources, Utilisation of information resources, Establishing functioning libraries, Resource based learning and teaching methodologies.

(6) Norms and standards for the selection of information resources

Stock selection is undertaken for purposes of purchasing or compiling of catalogues of approved or recommended titles. Currently both school and public libraries have no national selection policy. Some provincial departments of education library services have selection committees who select stock for purchasing for school libraries and who compile catalogues of recommended titles. The provincial public library sector has staff who select stock for purchasing for public libraries.

Locally, there is no formal agreement for school and public library selection committees to work together to co-ordinate purchasing of resources in provinces. This exercise will pursue a balanced provincial stock in provinces where this process is centralised. At local level, a representative committee of all stakeholders can make input into the type of stock to be selected and purchased for various libraries. Duplication in selection can best be avoided or minimised by adopting the committee process and agreements on collection building at provincial, district and local levels and compilation of integrated recommended reading lists; for example, items suitable for reading motivation of teenagers or titles suitable for second language English speakers. These measures will lead to the building up of a balanced stock in every province, linked to user needs, and available budget.

(7) Resource sharing

It is conceded that currently there is little or no practice of sharing material held in various public and school libraries beyond block loans and few libraries share human resources. Human and physical resources are the most common fields of resources sharing and should be expanded. School and public libraries can share personnel to deliver a better service to their clients. Most librarians posses the same basic training. Skills can therefore be transferred from the one service to the other. Also teacher librarians and public librarians have the same number of working hours and similar service conditions. The sharing of human resources can be effected at local (school and public library) level, provincial and national levels through management arrangements. The decline in the number of teacher librarians and the struggle of local governments to deliver their services despite budgetary constraints make it practical to share the available human resources.

3Currently available LIS related degree/diploma course in South Africa are as follows; Diploma in Special Education (School Media Centre Science) (3 years), Certificate's course in children's and youth services in libraries (1 year), Information Science Diploma (2 years), B.Bibl (4 years), Higher Diploma in Library Science (1 year post graduate), National Diploma in Library Science (3 years) and , B. Tech (4 year degree).

The same principle applies to the sharing of physical resources such as centralised libraries and computer centres by schools and communities. The advent of community centres and the decentralisation of power to the School Governing Bodies have brought about and make provision for community involvement in local level decision-making (GRSA, 1996b). School and local authorities can agree to provide a library and information service from the same premises. This arrangement can be a cost cutting measure on rental, water and electricity. Distribution of resource materials by provincial, district or regional offices to a shared service point is another option. Shared distribution routes and mobile library services can serve both public and school library points. Service points situated along the route of one service organisation could be serviced by the other, provided that there is an agreement on the mechanisms. Control mechanisms could be in a written agreement reached between the two parties. Sharing of transport may require special arrangements due to legal restrictions that may exist. In the case of the sharing of basic equipment like photocopies, faxes and telephones, pre-paid cards are the preferred method of payment.

As it comes to IT utilisation, through networking and co-operative planning there could be the development of a shared database, co-operative sharing of expertise in the answering of user's questions, co-operative cataloguing and building of bibliographic standards and tools, co-operative book and journal acquisition programmes and the co-operative exchange of duplicate materials. The sharing of their databases between public and school libraries will support inter-lending and resulting document delivery. CR-ROM databases can be considered for the less developed areas, as on-line services may be too expensive for individual libraries and the rural and deep rural areas. A regionalised inter-loan system can be affordable.

(8) Existing examples of co-operation between public and school libraries

In Gauteng province, one of the 9 provinces in South Africa, there is variety of examples where public and school libraries co-operate through different modes of provision such as block loans from public libraries to mostly primary school teachers, mobile library service which deliver central depot services to each school and travelling public library service to the community by stopping at the school. These services are normally formalised in a written contract, whereas joint efforts by public and school librarians to take learners into the public library are organised through mutual agreements at local level. This also applies for arranging visits of the public librarian to schools for library orientation and book education. Another example is where public libraries provide services to all the schools in the surrounding area. This kind of service delivery is usually based on an informal verbal agreement. There are also examples where a full-time public library is housed in a school or where a school library operates as a school library in the morning and as a public library in the afternoons. Public libraries provide services of homework clubs, holiday programmes and study space for learners. For instance, there are provincial library depots in Madiba Primary School and Sharicrest Primary Schools or alternatively local public libraries provide resources to a depot in a school like Christian Brother's College (Keller, 1999). Indeed, very recently the memorandum of understanding between provincial public and school library authorities (i.e. Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and Gauteng Department of Education) has been finalised for further promotion of co-operation among different types of libraries (See Annexure).

5. Conclusion: What Are The Implications For Successful Co-Operation?

From the previous sections, it is clear that both on the political level and on the policy level, there is a strong emphasis on working together and co-operation between government departments and their clients. This situation also applies to the school and public library sectors. If we consider the tremendous educational needs on library and information resources and the actual availability of human and physical resources to implement transformational policies like the new outcomes based education curriculum, fostering a reading culture, everyone becoming a life long learner, adressing issues of illiteracy and functional illiteracy, it is obvious that co-operation between the public and school library sectors is vital for improved service delivery in South Africa.

There are two aspects underpinning sucessful co-operation; one is the ethical and psycological level issue and the other is issues related to the legal, policy and governance levels. For the etical and psycological aspects, we need an inspired, capable and willing public service sector, which accepts the new value system and acts in a more determined manner to serve the interests of the people of South Africa and build a successful democracy (ANC, 1999a). National and provincial leadership in the public and school library sectors should demonstrate a willingness to work together by respecting the contributions of each sector and initiate highly visible and publicised activities (Le Roux, 1999). These initiatives can then later be supported by formal agreements. Until such agreements are finalised, co-operation can take place at provincial and district and local levels on issues which do not require formal agreements.

Regarding the legal, policy and governance aspects, it is important that formalised guidelines should address the core problems of a lack of co-operation between school and public libraries despite political, legal and policy statements emphasing the co-operation between different government departments. As a first step, integrated planning sessions can be undertaken at provinicial level and a partnership can be forged to get the provincial government to agree to funding norms for the development of a provincial library and information service. The more difficult questions when dealing with co-operation, namely, Who supplies the building? Where is it situated? Who chooses and buys the material? and Who controls the administration? can be resolved at a later stage, once there is a relationship in place which is build on trust and mutual respect (Bistow, 1992). The establishment of an inter-departmental committee for LIS at provincial level may be a first requirement.


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Gauteng Department Of Education

For The Provisioning Of Sport And Recreation Art, Culture Heritage Library And Information Services

In Gauteng


Recognising the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and that the Departments of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture and Education as well as Local Government share the responsibility to develop sports, recreation, arts, culture, heritage and library and information services in Gauteng, this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) seeks to enhance co-operation, promote efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services.

It is acknowledged that the problem of disaggregated planning exists in the public service which results in a reduced quality of service delivery. This problem could be made worse when functions are shared as is the case with the Departments of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and Education. The need for integrated planning and service delivery is also made more important by limited resources.

The services and resources associated with sport, recreation, arts, culture, heritage, library and information services, and in education in general have been and still are skewed in favour of the historically advantaged due to the policies of Apartheid.

1. The Purpose Of The Memorandum Of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):
    1.1 recognizes that the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) and the Gauteng Department of education (GDE) (as well as Local Government) share the responsibility to develop and implement sport, recreation, arts, culture, heritage and library and information services in the Gauteng Province;

    1.2 aims to appropriately locate itself within the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa;

    1.3 seeks to enhance co-operative governance, and promote the efficient and effective delivery of services in these areas;

    1.4 promotes integrated planning and service delivery;

    1.5 promotes the principles of equity, redress, access and quality in the process of planning and service delivery;

    1.6 aims to promote and strengthen the existing positive relations and co-operation which already exists between the parties; 1.7 aims to provide a framework for the attainment of common objectives in these areas;

    1.8 aims to optimise the utilization of resources and avoid duplication

    1.9 aims to facilitate the implementation of joint programmes where appropriate

    1.10 aims to provide a framework for the management of the interfaces and indistinct areas which exist between the parties concerning the co-operation areas.

2. The Parties To The Memorandum Of Understanding

The parties to this MOU are: The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) and the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) in the Gauteng Province.

3. The Scope Of The Memorandum Of Understanding

    3.1 The MOU covers the functional areas of sport, recreation, arts, culture, heritage, library and information services.

    3.2 The parties to this MOU acknowledge and recognise the fact that the functional areas mentioned above are also performed by local government. The parties hereby commit themselves to working together with local government as a key dimension of this MOU and will endeavour to formalise relationships with this level of government.

    3.3 The parties furthermore acknowledge and recognise that the function of "youth" is central to all of the functional areas mentioned above. There will therefore be a "Youth" dimension running through all activities carried out in terms of this agreement. The parties will also co-operate with all provincial and local government structures dealing with your matters.

4. Areas Of Co-Operation

    4.1 The parties shall co-operate and develop integrated plans and service delivery in the following areas: policy, legislation, plans, programmes, projects, provisioning, support and resources.

5. Roles And Responsibilities

    5.1 The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture is responsible for the policy, legislation, plans, programmes, provisioning, support and resources for sport, recreation, arts, culture, heritage, and library and information services for all citizens in the Gauteng Province, except that The Gauteng Department of Education is responsible for developing and implementing the policy, legislation, plans, programmes, provisioning, support and resources for the curriculum (and extra-curriculum) for sport, recreation, arts, culture, heritage and library and information services for all learners in all learning sites falling under its jurisdiction in the Gauteng Province.

6. Structures And Processes For Taking The Memorandum Of Understanding Forward

    6.1 The MOU will be taken forward by the establishment of a provincial DSRAC/GDE co-ordinating committee which will function on a permanent basis to ensure that the statement of intent, roles and responsibilities and areas of co-operation and purposes of this MOU are implemented. This co-ordinating committee will be appointed by the Members of the Executive Council (MEC's) of the parties to this MOU and will report to the MEC's. The DSRAC will be lead by the department and convenor of this co-ordinating committee. The co-ordinating committee will evaluate and monitor the implementation of the MOU as well as all the functional areas of co-operation governed by the MOU. The co-ordinating committee will provide an annual report for the MEC's.

    6.2 The co-ordinating committee will have three sub-committees covering all the responsibility areas which will report to the co-ordinating committee:

    6.2.1 Sports

    6.2.2 Arts, Heritage and Culture

    6.2.3 Library and Information Services

    6.3 The sub-committee should develop annual detailed management plans and programmes for each of the functional areas which must be submitted to the co-ordinating committee.

7. Statement Of Intent

    7.1 The parties hereby commit themselves to implement all aspects (including the purposes) of this MOU.

8. Statement Of Disputes

    8.1 Any dispute between the parties arising out of the interpretation or implementation of this MOU shall firstly be attempted to be settled jointly in the co-ordinating committee and if not resolved here will be escalated to the MECs of the parties.

9. Application And Duration Of The Memorandum Of Understanding

    9.1 The MOU will come into effect as soon as both parties as represented by their MECs have signed the MOU. The MOU shall remain in force for a period of three years and may be extended for a further period as mutually agreed upon by the parties.
The Memorandum of Understanding is hereby signed by the Members of the Executive Council at

_______________________________ on this ________________________ day of ________________

(month) in the year of ______________________________

For the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture

For the Gauteng Department of Education


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