Occupational Certificate: Library Assistant

SAQA ID: 94598

Level: 5

Credits: 127

Purpose of the course

The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a Library Assistant, Library Assistants issue and receive library materials, sort and shelve information resources and assist the librarian in providing service to library users.

This course will enable you to:

  • Assist library users in accessing basic library materials, e-resources and making interlibrary loans.

  • Practice circulation and shelving of library materials.

  • Maintain library records relating to the acquisition, and accessioning of books and other materials.

  • Perform administration and auxiliary activities such as filing, word processing, keeping statistics and perform basic material repairs and maintenance.

  • Assist with the delivery of outreach and reading development programmes, marketing and displays.

Course rationale:

Research conducted by the Department of Arts and Culture found that there is currently a dire need for qualified Library Assistants and the need is nationwide in urban libraries but even more so in community resource centres in the rural areas. Input from the CEP also indicated that unqualified persons have been appointed as Library Assistants who require appropriate training. Furthermore, the demand expressed by employees for support staff to be formally recognised for Library and Information Services skills, knowledge and experience has also greatly influenced the development of this qualification at NQF Level 5.

This qualification will provide occupational education and training to these people who are employed in all communities of Library and Information Services (LIS) as well as those who work in the public or private sectors or in rural or urban organisations. The areas of employment in which the qualifying learners will operate are public libraries/community libraries, school libraries/resource centres, academic libraries, corporate libraries, state departments etc.

This qualification is aimed at the unemployed, school leavers, library support staff, new entrants to LIS and adult learners. Furthermore, the South African government has recognised the significant role of LIS in community development and for the advancement of literacy.

Learning assumed to be in place and recognition of prior learning

The minimum requirement for entry into this qualification is:

  • A National Senior Certificate.

  • OR A National Certificate (Vocational) at NQF Level 4.

  • OR An equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a statement of result or certifying a work experience record.

RPL for access to the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

Exit level outcomes

  1. Perform the circulation function in a library.

  2. Perform a basic reference interview and referral to relevant resources.

  3. Sort, shelve and do shelf reading of library material by applying a classification system.

  4. Provide excellent customer care to library users according to the community profile and community needs.

  5. Process and maintain library material and collections.

  6. Analyse, evaluate and discuss library administration.

  7. Introduce library services and resources to library users.

Qualification rules

This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill Modules:

Knowledge Modules:

  • Introduction to Libraries and Library Services (LIS), NQF Level 5, 8 Credits.

  • Information retrieval and storage, NQF Level 5, 8 Credits.

  • Marketing, Client Liaison and Supervision, NQF Level 5, 9 Credits.

  • Library Administration, NQF Level 5, 8 Credits.

Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 33 Credits.

Practical Skills Modules:

  • Relevant library and information resources identified and supplied to library, NQF Level 5, 9 Credits.

  • Shelve material accurately according to the library classification systems, NQF Level 5, 7 Credits.

  • Perform acquisitioning and physical processing of books and other library materials according to generally accepted library standards, NQF Level 5, 9 Credits.

  • Perform administrative duties in a library, NQF Level 5, 9 Credits.

  • Market libraries and making services attractive and inviting to users in order to improve a culture of reading, NQF Level 5, 10 Credits.

Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 51 Credits.

This qualification also requires the following Work Experience Modules:

  • Information provision to library clients, NQF Level 5, 10 Credits.

  • Circulation of library materials and customer care, NQF Level 5, 8 Credits.

  • Acquiring processes and maintaining records of library material, NQF Level 5, 6 Credits.

  • Support administrative processes in the library, NQF Level 5, 9 Credits.

  • Support marketing, outreach and reading development programmes of the library, NQF Level 5, 10 Credits.

Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 43 Credits.

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