A Malawian school library: culture, literacy and reader development

Anderson, Johanna ORCID: 0000-0001-5276-6137 and Matthews, Paul (2010) A Malawian school library: culture, literacy and reader development. Aslib Proceedings, 62 (6). pp. 570-584. doi:10.1108/00012531011089685

12814-(2010)-Anderson-A_Malawian_school_library_Culture_literacy_and_rea.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (919kB) | Preview


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the success and suitability of a Western‐donated school library in furthering the aims of literacy and reader development in Malawi. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative, case study approach was taken using extensive interviews with school teachers and a library assistant at a primary school in Malawi. Findings: Contrary to a common discourse that libraries are of limited value in a predominantly oral culture, the research revealed a valuable role in providing sources for sharing knowledge by young readers with the non‐literate. Limitations of the library under study included insufficient attention to reader development and inappropriateness of materials for the local context. Practical implications: The work reveals important shortcomings in furthering global literacy targets through current practice in African primary school libraries supported by international donors and non‐governmental organisations. Recommendations to improve impact are given. Originality/value: This research is original in representing the voices of school teachers in the debate over the suitability of libraries for the African context and in evaluating the overseas book donation model currently practised in many locations.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Divisions: Professional Services > Library, Technology and Information Service
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Yohanna Anderson
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2023 13:32
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 13:45
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/12814

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.