Library competitions promoting libraries, reading and literacy in a rural African environment

NEL, Christina J. (2015) Library competitions promoting libraries, reading and literacy in a rural African environment. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 118 - Literacy and Reading.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1173
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Language: English (Original)
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Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/1173/1/118-nel-en.pdf

Abstract

Library competitions promoting libraries, reading and literacy in a rural African environment

To promote libraries, reading and literacy, the Greater Tzaneen Library Services has hosted annual competitions for school children with a different book/reading theme every year since 2002. In rural South Africa, especially in poorer provinces such as the Limpopo Province, most libraries are in the better developed towns and not accessible to the rural poor. For this reason the annual Greater Tzaneen Library Services competition was altered from a Reading competition to a Library competition in 2004. This made it possible for all school children to enter, even those without access to libraries and multiple books. The focus of the competition is on creativity and fun and the competitions may be entered in any of the four main languages spoken in the Greater Tzaneen area which are Sepedi, English, Afrikaans and Xitsonga. The format of the competition is different every year and has included posters on books, bookmarks with a slogan on reading, self-made storybooks, drawings of the children reading, comic strips and stories told by grandparents. In the past few years, two new libraries have been built in rural Greater Tzaneen through the South African National Conditional Library Grant and it is crucial that the libraries are seen to be friendly and accessible. The competitions are often the first encounter the rural school children and their families have with libraries and the light hearted nature of the competitions encourages them to take the next big step and visit a library.

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