Role of School Libraries in Promoting a Reading Culture in High Schools in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe




school library, library resources, reading culture, school librarians, Zimbabwe


A school library is essential to any school’s learning and teaching activities since it serves as an information and innovation hub. School libraries can play a crucial part in developing a reading culture by providing free and equitable access to reading materials. Chinhoyi is the provincial capital of one of the 10 administrative provinces in Zimbabwe, Mashonaland West Province. The town has four high schools—three government-funded schools and one private school. This study sought to ascertain the role played by school libraries in promoting a reading culture in high schools. The study was qualitative and adopted an interpretive research paradigm with a focus group and face-to-face interviews. The research established that although some schools have libraries, learners are not using the libraries due to outdated and irrelevant resources, and some libraries are not functional. Challenges were noted regarding why the reading culture is declining in Chinhoyi high schools. The main challenges were a lack of resources, a lack of qualified personnel to manage the library, and a lack of funds to buy resources for the school libraries. Based on these findings, the study suggests the following recommendations: schools should employ qualified personnel; more funds to purchase library resources are required; schools should include library hours in the school timetable to allow learners to read; and libraries should introduce storytelling sessions.

Author Biographies

Judith Nzara, Chinhoyi University of Technology

Judith Nzara completed her Master's degree in Information Science at the University of South Africa in 2022. This article is based on the findings from this research project. She currently works as a senior library assistant at Chinhoyi University of Technology.

Nampombe Saurombe, University of South Africa

Nampombe Saurombe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Science, University of South Africa. She served as Ms Nzara's supervisor for her Master's research project. 


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How to Cite

Nzara, Judith, and Nampombe Saurombe. “Role of School Libraries in Promoting a Reading Culture in High Schools in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe”. Commonwealth Youth and Development, 15 pages .



Received 2022-08-24
Accepted 2024-05-14
Published 2024-06-03