The Role of the School Library in Empowering Visually Impaired Children With Lifelong Information Literacy Skills

The Role of the School Library in Empowering Visually Impaired Children With Lifelong Information Literacy Skills

Iwu-James Juliana (Covenant University, Nigeria), Roland Izuagbe (Covenant University, Nigeria), Victoria Itsekor (Covenant University, Nigeria), Michael Opeoluwa Fagbohun (Covenant University, Nigeria), Aderonke Asaolu (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Mary Nwanne Nwokeoma (Covenant University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3111-1.ch009
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

Libraries provide the platform on which successful education systems are built through the provision of access to information. The ability to provide equal and nondiscriminatory access to library resources and services is the hallmark of modern librarianship. School libraries must be prepared to serve children with specific disabilities, such as visually impaired students who will need special types of technology and other specialized services. This preparation is even more important with the push for inclusion and the corresponding increase in children with disabilities attending regular (vs. specialized) schools and utilizing the school library resources. Thus, this chapter examines the role of school libraries in empowering visually impaired children with lifelong information literacy skills as a part of inclusive education.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

There is an inextricable relationship between libraries and education. Ogunsola (2008) posited that the development of education and growth of libraries are highly synonymous. In other words, libraries are essential to the development of any educational system. Education for all is not meant to be a slogan but the goal of every country, especially since children are regarded as the hope and future of any nation. Sadly, children living with one form of disability or another often receive less attention. They are denied access to a quality education as a result of their disabilities. Basic education is aimed at equipping persons with the relevant knowledge, skill, and attitude required to live meaningfully and benefit fully within one’s socioeconomic context. Education is a universal human right that must not be denied.

Libraries provide the platform on which successful education systems are built through the provision of access to information. Fundamentally, libraries and librarians are obligated to acquire, organize, and make information accessible to all categories of users regardless of their age, status, gender, ability, or even disability. In other words, the ability to provide equal and nondiscriminatory access to library resources and services is the hallmark of modern librarianship.

Usoro and Usanga (2007) outlined the following goals that a school library must strive to meet:

  • Participate effectively in school activities and programs while striving to meet the needs of pupils, teachers, parents, and other community members.

  • Provide students with equal opportunity and access to library resources and services most appropriate and most meaningful to their growth and development as individuals.

  • Stimulate and instruct students in all phases of their reading so that they may find increasing enjoyment and satisfaction for rapid growth needed for critical judgment and appreciation.

  • Provide an opportunity for students through their library experience to develop helpful interests, to make satisfactory personal adjustments, and to acquire desirable social attitudes and values.

  • Help children and young people to become independent and skillful users of libraries and their resources.

  • Introduce people to the community library as early as possible and cooperate with those libraries in their effort to encourage continuing education and cultural growth.

  • Collaborate with teachers in the selection and use of all types of library materials that will boost the teaching program.

Achieving these lofty goals hinges on several factors, including the establishment of information provision mechanisms aimed at inculcating lifelong learning skills into persons from childhood (International Federation of Library Associations, 2016; Travaline, 1997). In order to achieve these goals, school libraries must be prepared to serve children with specific disabilities such as visually impaired students, who will need special types of technology and other specialized services. This preparation is even more important with the push for inclusion and the corresponding increase in children with disabilities attending regular (vs. specialized) schools and utilizing the school library resources. Thus, this chapter examines the role of school libraries in empowering visually impaired children with lifelong information literacy skills as a part of inclusive education.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset