National Library Week – The services offered to scholars by school libraries in the past are not readily available anymore, as the libraries are becoming “outdated”.
The SA Library Week was initiated in 2001 by LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa) when all types of libraries across the country have the opportunity to market their services. It was decided that “the week within which 20 March falls should be National Library Week. In the event of this day falling within a weekend, then the week preceding it, would be celebrated as National Library Week.” The Library Week should advance the “important role that libraries play in a democratic society, advancing literacy, making the basic human right of freedom of access to information a reality, and to promote tolerance and respect among all South Africans”.
The aforementioned is linked with the celebration of Human Rights Day, on 21 March, while our Bill of Rights recognises the freedom of access to information as a basic human right. This year’s National Library Week was launched on 11 March and was celebrated countrywide. The theme for this year is: Libraries for life-long learning. Everyone is urged to use all the services offered by a library which is no longer merely a place with stacks of dusty books only. It is time well spent to pay a library a visit and see all the services offered in order to obtain information. Our local library together with the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation hosted a showcased event, with talent and art when they celebrated our country’s intellectual and literacy heritage on Wednesday, 23 March 2016.
The library used this annual event as an opportunity to market their services to the community, in correlation with the vision of LIASA. The Honourable Mayor, Mr B. H. Mtshali, was present at the event and gave an informative speech on using the facilities of the library and what it has to offer to the community. He was then a bright sport in entertaining the crowd with intellectual questions based on our town and its history. Everyone that participated in the interactive question session was awarded with a gift bag. His interaction with the crowd caused an embracing mind thinking session and also promoted the importance of reading and obtaining knowledge. Several youngsters entertained the crowd with cultural dances and poetry. The afternoon ended with interesting entertainment and lunch was provided. The event was a huge success as the theme “Libraries for lifelong learning” was left within the minds of many, who attended.