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Public Libraries and their National Policies by John Helling

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4

South Africa

Abstract:

Since the end of apartheid, public libraries have struggled to find their place in the new democratic South Africa. Confusion over which branches of government fund which library services, a lack of library presence in rural areas, and an overreliance on Western ideals and languages have all contributed to a lack of effectiveness. Libraries are also struggling against negative public perception and uneven geographical distribution. Several pieces of legislation and studies on the national level in recent years have attempted, or will attempt, to rectify at least some of these problems. The recent effort to have public libraries assume some of the duties of school libraries, which South Africa largely lacks, is also ...

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