The Role Of The School Library In The Teaching And Learning Process In The University Of Buea

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Role Of The School Library In The Teaching And Learning Process In The University Of Buea 

Department: Library Science
No of Pages: 42
Project Code: LS1
References: Yes
Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian
        : $15 for International students


This study examined the role of school library in teaching and learning and sought to establish the relationship between the use of school library resources and teaching and learning in Cameroon. The study was conducted in the university of Buea using the case study methods of interviews, observation.

The findings revealed that students and teachers appreciate the presence and function of the school library acknowledging it as fundamental in every educational system especially at the basic school level. The findings also revealed that students and teachers actually used the library resources in site of the fact that one of the challenges facing the library was the inadequacy of its stock.

It is hoped that the findings of the study will persuade the Ministry of Education and the Government of Cameroon to reconsider the role of school libraries in schools. Recommendations are made toward improving school libraries in general and the university of Buea Library in particular 


1.1 Introduction

The role of school libraries is increasingly being recognized as essential in education provision as they provide information and ideas that are fundamental to the educational needs of the students. According to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) School Library Manifesto, the school library offers information and ideas that are important to enable students to function fully in today's knowledge society by providing essential information materials. In this process they will become life-long learners and become responsible citizens (IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto, 1999). 

The American Association of School Librarians [AASL] notes that school libraries are crucial to the development of educational skills with their provision of physical and intellectual access to the information resources and vital for learning (AASL, 2012).

School libraries provide students with the opportunity to acquire life-long learning skills so they may develop their imagination as well as critical thinking skills. As they use the school library, students acquire the habit of reading and are able to evaluate and use information appropriately (IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto, 1999). School libraries, as learning laboratories, allow students to interact directly with library materials and acquire research skills for future academic pursuits (Unagha, 2008: 3).

Moreover, school libraries give students the chance to read about other cultures to broaden their minds, and opportunities for voluntary reading which are crucial for the development of the enjoyment of reading, which has positive benefits on learning (Nassimbeni and Desmond, 2011: 95). Von Sprecken and Krashen (1998: 12) revealed that there is a link between the availability of books in the classroom, time allotted for reading, and the extent and extensiveness of reading. Makenzie (2004) commenting on the importance of reading which she promotes through the reading tents in Kenya makes the link with development:

   to achieve sustainable human development requires people who are literate and able to think critically and analytically. 

  the developing world is now more than ever aware of the value of universal literacy as a link between culture and development and as an instrument to equip its citizens with skills and knowledge required for development, reading is key to development (Makenzie, 2004:2).

Though school libraries are fundamental to the effective delivery of education, successive governments have done little toward the provision of school libraries in all the public basic schools in Cameroon.

1.2 Background of the study

The ultimate purpose of education is to ensure the development of the individual’s social and intellectual abilities and the formation of a knowledgeable society as a requirement for development (Ohene-Agyekum, 2008).

This in effect suggests that the purpose of education is to assist a person to manage his or her own affairs and contribute towards the development of the nation. Umar (2004:15) stresses that through the process of education, people are expected to obtain knowledge and hence specialize in specific fields of study. It is this knowledge that allows people to contribute meaningfully to national development.

The development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of its education. 

According to Yara and Otieno (2010:2) education is a fundamental human right. The key to sustainable development, peace and stability within and among countries is the provision of education to the populace of such countries. The presence of school libraries to encourage and facilitate reading is therefore of prime importance.

The educational landscape in cameroon today is a result of major policy documents and reports, which have helped in meeting the educational needs and aspirations of the people. Various governments before and after independence, recognizing the importance of the development of the nation have expended considerable amounts of national resources to promote education at all levels. In all these developments, particular attention was paid to and is now being focused on basic education so that well-educated children may grow up to be good functional adults in society. For instance in 1998 the Cameroon educational policy was stipulated which stated that “every child has the right to education”

1.3 Statement of the Problem

Researchers such as Todd (2002) and Lance (2000) have written widely regarding the relationship between the use of the school library and favourable learning outcomes. They are of the view that with the collaboration of the school library, students will be able to access and use appropriate information for effective learning.

These and other researchers have found evidence in the USA for the beneficial effects of using the school library on learning outcomes. A typical example is the South Carolina school libraries study that showed how school libraries contribute to students‟ success. 

Most of the teachers interviewed in this study mentioned that they involved their students in library by referring them to a book in the library. The teachers confirm that the use of the school library is beneficial to students‟ learning (Lance, Schwarz and Rodney, 2014). The IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto (1999) identifies three fundamental beliefs that are at the core of the establishment and functioning of libraries in schools as follows:

•The provision of information is essential in today’s society as it is   becoming more and more information and knowledge based society.

•There is the need for a competent Librarian to equip students to acquire literacy skills enabling them to live as useful and responsible citizens.

•When school librarians and teachers work together students achieve higher level of literacy, reading, learning, and problem -solving.  

The foregoing assertions indicate that school libraries are so important that they should be viewed as necessary in every public basic school in the country for students to reap all the benefits. 

 1.4 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to investigate the role of the school library in the teaching and learning process in the university of Buea 

1.5 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were:

  1. To explore the relationship between the use of the school library resources and teaching and learning in the school.
  2. Recognizing the importance of reading in the promotion of literacy, another objective was to explore the effect of voluntary reading of the school library resources in the learning of the students.