Teaching information literacy skills in Community Junior secondary schools in Gaborone, Botswana
PublisherSage Publications / http://www.sagepublications.com
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Information literacy skills are fast becoming a global priority as society moves into the digital environment. However, although the subject has generated a vast body of literature, it remains an underdeveloped domain in sub-Saharan Africa, with few scholars demonstrating a keen interest in, and focus on, the subject. This has unfortunately limited a fuller understanding of how information literacy is conceptualized and delivered in developing country contexts. The study reported here investigated the teaching of information literacy skills in selected Community Junior Secondary Schools (CJSS) in the city of Gaborone, Botswana. Data were gathered from a sample of 30 teacher-librarians via face-to-face in-depth interviews with the aid of a five-question interview schedule. The key findings of the study were: (1) respondents had varying interpretations of what constituted information literacy skills, (2) a variety of skills were taught under the rubric information literacy skills; (3) by and large, the teaching of information literacy skills was done by teacher-librarians and subject teachers, (4) the main approaches in teaching information literacy skills involved library orientation and the use of the English Language Period, and (5) respondents cited three challenges, namely, the absence of an enabling environment or an office dedicated to school libraries, an exam-oriented curriculum and shrinking financial resources. Several recommendations are made for both future research and the Ministry of Education in Botswana.