18th LIASA Annual Conference: Abstracts: Developing potential library clients from basic education / school level

Developing potential library clients from basic education/school level

Maselo Ednah Rantho, Nomvuyelo Ngcangula

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become an integral part of our daily lives and affect the learning culture and teaching model in the educational system. Therefore, due to the penetration of mobile technology worldwide, there is a shifting educational landscape in schools and institution of higher learning and the percentage of the physical usage of libraries and information services is or will be affected. However, librarians like all other professionals should adapt to and establish mechanism to cope with the changes taking place in the environment in which they operate. Learners are gradually learning how to use their mobile devices to access information to benefit their learning and academic circumstances. Librarians should be ready to meet the challenge and view it as an opportunity to redesign their service provision. Change is inevitable and how libraries will function in the future depends on how librarians and information professionals re-envision the role of the library in line with the current and envisioned user requirements, expectations and changing environment. It is indeed pivotal that librarians redesign their services, space, image and purpose by taking initiatives to identify new mechanisms to provide services to clients and remain relevant. The presenters believe that school librarians are in a good position to create libraries’ potential clients and instil the culture of using the virtual or physical libraries. This will assist teachers and most importantly learners to understand the significance and role of a librarian and libraries from the grass root. This paper seeks to highlight strategies which school librarians can adopt to introduce to learners and contribute to creating potential library clients. School librarians should understand the information seeking behaviour of learners, teach and introduce learners to effectively use the internet, identify and search free electronic information resources such as Google scholar; Sematic scholar; JURN; Department of Education websites to access previous examination papers; Bookboon download free e-books and textbook. It is the responsibility of the librarians in any environment to proactively meet the information needs of the clients. Librarians need to move from support service to professional / scholarly partners throughout the academic or scholarly process.