Role played by an academic library in fostering a reading culture amongst children with special needs

CHAPUTULA, Aubrey Harvey (2018) Role played by an academic library in fostering a reading culture amongst children with special needs. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 137 - Africa.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2237
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Role played by an academic library in fostering a reading culture amongst children with special needs

This study was conducted to determine the impact Mzuzu University Children’s Library has had in nurturing a reading culture amongst children with special needs from St John of God in Mzuzu. The study adopted a case study design whose findings were drawn from data collected through focus-group discussion, in-depth interview and observation. Proceedings of the interviews were recorded using tape recorders, transcribed in MS Word, and analysed using Nvivo software. Observations made from the Library were recorded in notebooks using pens. Themes emerging from the data were used to answer the research questions. Findings revealed that the Mzuzu University Children’s Library is having a significant impact in nurturing a reading culture amongst children with special needs from St John of God. Patronage was discovered to be high whilst cartoons were the most popular service amongst the children. Other activities undertaken at the Library included book readings, storytelling sessions, video shows, etc. The major challenges patrons faced included inadequate staffing, accessibility to children on wheelchairs, and lack of appropriate information resources. Not many academic libraries incorporate children library services in their programmes. Experiences learned in this case study, therefore, can be a catalyst for development of newer library service models necessitating academic libraries to go beyond servicing their core client group. Moreover, findings made in this study could assist in improving service delivery at the study site if acted upon.

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