PRESENTATION TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION 16th FEBRUARY 2011 LIS TRANSFORMATION CHARTER Prof M Nkondo: Chair of the National Library Board On behalf of the National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS)
Outline • Background • Scope and purpose of the Charter • Analytical Framework • Methodology • Challenges and Interventions • National Norms and Standards • Governance • Education and Training: Investing in People • Protect the most vulnerable: People with Disabilities • Access and Participation • Culture of Reading and the Transformation of National Culture • How to ensure effective implementation
Background In April 2008, the National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS), in consultation with the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), brought together seven people to form the Library and Information Services Transformation Charter Technical Team.
Scope and Purpose of the Charter Our assignment was to • Define the challenges facing the sector • and to provide a framework for effecting the changes for the sector to contribute to • the elimination of illiteracy • eradication of inequality in the sector • promotion of social cohesion • and building an informed and reading nation.
Stakeholder consultation • Briefings held in 9 Provinces, May to July 2008 • Minister briefed SALGA Executive Committee, Nelspruit, 2008 • Presentations at the LIASA Conference, Cape Town, October 2008 • National Summit, Pretoria, 5 December 2008 • Briefing of National Council for Library and Information Services, 27 January 2009 • Briefing of Minister of Arts and Culture • Briefing of Minister of Education, 16 February 09 • Briefing of MINMEC, February 2009 • Briefing of Portfolio Committee, 2 June 2010
Analytical Framework Together the twelve chapters lay out a structure of practical reasoning to guide librarians, managers of educational institutions and public officials; specifically on what they should think and do. To exploit the particular circumstances they find themselves in to enhance the public value of libraries. To achieve this purpose, the Charter develops several different kinds of ideas.
Analytical Framework (continued) • First, it sets out an idea of what citizens should expect of librarians and public officials involved in the sector, the political, professional and ethical responsibilities they assume in taking office, and what constitutes success in the execution of their work. • Second, it sets out, in broad outline, an analytical framework to guide librarians and managers of educational institutions in analyzing the situations in which they operate and assessing the potential for effective action. • Third, the Charter identifies particular kinds of interventions they can make to exploit the potential of their political and institutional settings for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.
Methodology The Charter is grounded in the context of the South African government in the last fifteen years. It is based on, • extensive public consultations in each of the nine provinces, • interviews with scholars and practitioners, • as well as on available academic literature that is relevant to understanding the context, purposes and methods of librarians and managers of educational institutions.
Challenges and Interventions The Charter calls for institutional reform and changes in how librarians and managers of educational institutions should do their work.
Challenges and Interventions (continued) • National Norms and Standards • Governance • Education and Training: investing in people • Protect the most vulnerable: people with disabilities • Access and Participation • Culture of reading and the Transformation of National Culture • How to ensure effective implementation
Challenges and Interventions (continued) • National Norms and Standards At the core of the transformation challenges is the lack of national policy on norms and standards b. Governance Key to the governance challenges are overlapping mandates and the lack of capacity to transform the sector in line with the Bill of Rights and applicable national policies. In this regard, legislation has to be reviewed to eliminate overlaps and confusion at the point of implementation.
Challenges and Interventions (cont.) c. Education and Training: Investing in People The future of the sector lies in its human resources. Indeed, the sector must solve its training, recruitment and retention crisis if it is to contribute to national development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals The South African curriculum –in its ethos and its pedagogies – cannot be delivered without access to well-managed collections of learning resources d. Protect the most vulnerable: People with Disabilities Government should enforce the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in terms of which the sector should develop a rights and inclusion policy framework.
Challenges and Interventions (cont.) e. Access and Participation As part of a wider set of measures to achieve equality and justice, the sector must ensure free and easy access for all to Library and Information Services. f. Culture of Reading and Transformation of National Culture To develop a culture of reading, steps should be taken to mobilize TV and other forms of mass media in the campaign to resocialize all South Africans, especially children and the youth, within the framework of values provided by the Constitution and the White Paper on Batho Pele. The other memory institutions, Archives and Museums, should be advised to develop their own charters.
Challenges and Interventions (cont.) g. How to ensure effective implementation • If the sector is to take responsibility for its own development, as it should, the Library and Information Association of South Africa and the National Council for Library and Information Services must be given greater authority on issues that concern them. • Adequate funding must be provided. • An independent monitoring and evaluation system must be established to make sure this happens.