BY BAKANG MOKOTO
THE Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Mabudafhasi in partnership with the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) and the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) will launch the South African Library Week at Sunrise View Primary and Secondary Schools in Rustenburg on Friday.
Mabudafhasi said the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) will celebrate South African Library Week (SALW) from 18-26 March 2017 with the theme “My Library, Your Library“ and sub-themes: “My Library, My Home”, “Mind your Library” and “Tell me about your Library”.
“The theme, “My Library, Your library” takes libraries into the heart of the community and strives to awaken a sense of ownership in each community member. The theme encourages people to take libraries to heart and to treat these as their homes so that destroying libraries and burning books becomes unthinkable.
“The theme is a reminder to all library users that the library is a communal space that caters to specific needs whether these are educational, social, recreational or informative. Prior to the launch of the SALW, we will officially open Papi Ntjana Community Library on Thursday as part of the build-up to Library Week campaign,” she said.
Mabudafhasi further said LIASA remains aligned with the South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) for 2030. She said that will shape communities through skills development in an attempt to reduce unemployment especially amongst the youth as well as the expansion of the job market with knowledgeable workers and through entrepreneurship.
“While the NDP/Vision 2030 sees education as a road to national economic prosperity, the current outlook is gloomy. A report released in November 2016 placed South African grade 7 science and mathematics competencies at the bottom of global rankings of 57 countries. Libraries have positioned themselves in this space between aspiration and delivery providing support for education.
“It needs the community to recognize this key advantage and to take up further the opportunities this brings. Let us make reading part of our daily lives and let everyone of us share a book with a colleague, family, friends and neighbours as a way of enhancing social cohesion. Together, let us turn South Africa into a reading nation.
She added that they will use the knowledge acquired through reading to strive towards a better and literate South Africa. Mabudafhasi said the LIASA is the national professional association that represents libraries and information institutions.
“All library and information workers, millions potential users of libraries in South Africa need to unite, develop and empower all people in the library and information field. It represents the interests of and promotes the development and image of library and information services in South Africa,” Mabudafhasi said.