Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Role of School Libraries in Promoting Reading Culture among Secondary School Students: A Case Study of Federal Government College, Jos

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Role of School Libraries in Promoting Reading Culture among Secondary School Students: A Case Study of Federal Government College, Jos

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

According to an online dictionary, dictionary.com, a library is a place set apart to contain books, periodicals, and other materials for reading, viewing, listening, study, or reference, as a room, set of rooms or building where books may be read or borrowed. Merriam Webster's dictionary also defines a library as a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or for borrowing. A library's collection include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, electronic books (e-books), audio books, databases, and so on.

There are different types of libraries, each with its distinct function and serving a defined community of users. The different types of libraries include: National library, academic libraries, public libraries, special libraries, and school libraries. For the aim of this research, the researcher will focus on the school library. School libraries are libraries dedicated to the support of educational programmes of primary and secondary schools worldwide, (Adetoro, 2005). Also, Aina (2004) defines school libraries as a library that is attached to schools such as pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools. They supplement the teaching of the school children. It caters for children who are eager to read and also for backward children who read with difficulty, and who require visual aids, and all kinds of incentives to study, (Uzuegbu, Ibiyemi, 2013).

The goal of school library is to develop information literate students who are responsible, and ethical participants in the society. Information literate students are self-directed learners who are aware of their information needs and actively engage in the world of ideas, (IFLA guidelines for school libraries, 2015). School libraries facilitate teaching and learning, therefore its collection must be based upon the curriculum and particular needs and interest of the school community and reflect the diversity of society outside the school. Professional librarians, known as teacher librarians are saddled with the responsibility of maintaining school libraries, (Uzuegbu, & Ibiyemi, 2013).

Reading not only has the awesome power when it comes to stimulating the development of an individual, its importance to the entirety of human life in this era of information explosion cannot be underestimated. Reading, according Tella & Akande (2007), is an art capable of transforming man's life and his entire society. Reading is a worldwide phenomenon that has the capacity to promote development as well as instill discipline on the individual. The survival of any society therefore is a function and extent to which that society is involved in reading, (Anyawu, Obichere & Ossai-Onnah, 2012). It is essential therefore, for every individual to develop a culture for reading. Every individual should and aim at developing good habit of reading since its benefits are tremendous to human existence and a necessity for one to pull through in life.

The art of reading could be a very interesting experience for children and adolescents if they are properly guided. A reading habit cultivated early in life helps the child to grow into an independent adult, (Oji, & Habibu, 2011). Though the benefits of reading are immeasurable, the reading culture of Nigerian society is poor. Study has shown that the average Nigerian reads less than one book per year, in fact only one percent (1%) of successful men and women in Nigeria read one non-fiction per month; also, 30 million Nigerians have graduated from high school with poor reading culture, (Henry, 2004).

Reading culture is on a daily decline especially with the influx of smart phones into the country. With these phones, individuals, especially young adults have access to a variety of social networking sites on the internet. Such social networking sites include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and a host of others. …

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