A state-of-the-art school library and information centre in the Western Cape will ensure educators have access to management, research and curriculum-related material to promote effective teaching and learning.
The Education Library and Information Service of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has moved into new, state-of-the-art premises in Kuils River.
It is now based at the Education Department’s Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute, where the department provides in-service teacher training.
The service supports school libraries and media centres, and teachers visit the centre to source teaching material and ideas.
Brian Schreuder, the head of education in the Western Cape, said at the opening ceremony recently that the occasion was important because it reflects the department’s ongoing commitment to school libraries, the importance of books and the department’s participation in the digital revolution.
A total of 1 252, or 86 per cent, of schools in the Western Cape have library facilities, Schreuder said.
The Education Library and Information Service helps to set up school libraries, provides advice on books to stock and provides block loans of books for up to a term at a time.
Continuous professional development
In addition, it provides resources and support to help teachers incorporate digital technology into their lessons, and obtains licences for education software for use in smart classrooms and computer laboratories. The service provides online resources for continuous professional development of teachers, principals and education officials.
The centre also provides mobile library services to 87 schools in rural areas, mainly farm schools, using buses kitted out as libraries.
The Education Library and Information Service is now expanding its services to include more digital resources, as schools benefit from the province's eLearning Game Changer initiative.
The new facilities in Kuils River include:
- A library of books and digital education material, including software;
- A computer hub, with 10 computers, where teachers can use computers to identify resources they might need;
- A viewing room, to preview digital resources;
- Free wifi;
- Power points throughout the library for use by visitors, using their own devices;
- A seminar and training room with 20 computers, which can accommodate 50 people; and
- A boardroom which can accommodate 15 people and a study area for individual and group work.