Librarians mark National Library Week

Mayco member JP Smith is pictured marching with the librarians.

In celebration of National Library Week, which began on Saturday March 18 and runs until Saturday March 25, librarians across the city took part in a fun march to create awareness and welcome people to libraries.

The march, led by the Groote Schuur Primary School’s drummies and a branded bus which set the vibe with music, started from the Central library on Friday March 17 in preparation of National Library Week.

During National Library Week, City libraries host various special programmes for all ages, including storytelling, arts and crafts, membership drives, and poetry sessions.

“This year’s theme, My Library Your Library, seeks to reinforce libraries as being the heart of the community and encourages residents to take ownership of these vital facilities,” said the City’s Mayco member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith.

Speaking to the CapeTowner, Mr Smith said he had been inspired by the start of construction of Dunoon library last week when he attended the groundbreaking ceremony. “It reminded me that I am a geek at heart,” he said.

The senior librarian at Central library, Anita Shaw, said the march was a chance to make the public aware of the services the library offers.

“We want to draw people to the library and promote our services. We go out into communities and take the libraries to them.”

She reminded people that library week is also fine-free week, and urged people to bring their overdue materials as they will not be fined.

The Central library also started a book club last year (“Book club launch”, CapeTowner, October 6, 2016), where a group of people meet monthly to announce a theme for the books they will read, and to review the previous month’s books.

Ms Shaw said the book club has taken some time to get off the ground, as people come and go, but there is a dedicated group.

“We are looking forward to more people joining the book club this year,” she said.

Tania Blignaut, who also works at Central library, said National Library Week was a big welcome back for people who “are scared to come to the library”.

“It’s a chance to get your card renewed, and a reminder that libraries are free.

“Yes, the internet is a new age of information, but it can never compete. Libraries are supplementary.”

Neighbouring Woodstock library’s librarian, Ntombegugu Mpofu, said National Library Week is creating awareness about what libraries have to offer.

“Libraries are a hub of information. Despite everything moving to the internet, there are many people who appreciate having hard copies.

“Despite this, we are adjusting and moving online. We have free internet access at some libraries and online registries. Even so, people will always need libraries.”

Glorine Hannah of the Central Children’s Library said to her, National Library Week means promoting and supporting children and the youth.

“The drummies who are leading us today are an inspiration.”

Matthew Higgs, who heads up the drummies and is a teacher at Groote Schuur Primary School, said the squad has been taking part in National Library Week celebrations for the past two years.

“We are doing it to give back to the community.

“Library week is important to us because academics is important to us as a school. Some of our girls in the band are top of their classes.”

He said the pupils in the band range from Grade 1 to Grade 7.

As part of National Library Week, the Central library also held a membership drive on Monday March 18.