South Campus librarian, Lianda Coetzer, presented a paper at the first SLYSIG (School Libraries Interest Group) conference in KwaZulu Natal in July. Her topic:
Training and development of librarians: taking giant steps in reviving the dying breed of librarians through the training of teacher librarians: an initiative at the School of Open Learning, University of the Free State.
In reaction to the theme of the conference, "Move into the future @ your library", the question Lianda asked was with whom? How can the future of our children be assured if there is nobody to teach them the importance of libraries and to establish school libraries at primary and secondary schools? Her contention for posing these questions was that library schools have suffered closure over the last years making the training of school librarians in the Free State virtually non-existent or impossible.
As the campus librarian at the South Campus of the UFS she was teaching the UIL 242 module (Information Resources Literacy) to second year NPDE students (National Preparation Diploma in Education). In the contact sessions with these students the challenges of implementing and managing a school library were raised a number of times, demanding a course that will assist them in the administration and management of school libraries at the UFS' School of Open Learning.
Investigations into the request for training was immediately conducted and resulted in negotiations with the School of Open Learning, Director of Short Courses for the development of a short course.