A survey of secondary school libraries in the Central division of Machakos district, Eastern province: current state and implications on the 8-4-4 system of Education curriculum.
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This study investigated the current state of the school libraries in the Central division of Machakos District and the implications on the diverse 8-4-4 system of education curricular. The study sought to establish the adequacy and relevance of the school libraries resources to the demands of the 8-4-4 system of education. This was done by examining the libraries stock-size, recency and how well it met the needs of the users; non-print materials; library organization and management; physical facilities and library personnel to establish how qualified they were to man the school libraries. Stratified random sampling was employed in the study to get the sample population and to ensure representatives. 60 students were randomly selected across the board, 25 teachers, 5 teacher-librarians and 5 head-teachers. Only those schools with central and functioning libraries were chosen; hence, 5 schools were selected. The study was a survey utilizing observations, questionnaires and interviews in data collection. Data obtained from the research instruments was analyzed using frequencies and percentages and the findings summarized using descriptive analysis and tables. The study found out that most of the school library resources were old, neglected, meager, inadequate and irrelevant to the diverse needs of the 8-4-4 curricular. It also revealed that the libraries lacked qualified library personnel, adequate budgets and the resources were poorly organized and managed. Moreover, the resources were greatly under-utilized. Key among the recommendations made on the strength of the findings of the study were: (i) The ministry of Education and Human Resource Development should come up with a government policy, governing the setting up and operations of school libraries; (ii) PTAs and BOGs should construct purpose-built libraries and equip them with resources that are relevant to the needs of the 8-4-4 curricular; (iii) Head teachers should prioritize school libraries in budge allocations; (iv) There is need for school administrators to set-up a library fund and ensure it is used to that effect and none other and (v) Schools should employ trained librarians or take the teacher-librarians for in-service courses in librarianship in order to ensure good management of library operations.