Attention: News Editors / Journalists / Press Members

Date:  15 March 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Department of Sport, Recreation Arts and Culture (DSRAC) will join the rest of the country and celebrate South African Library Week (SALW) better known as National Library Week, which starts today, 15 March 2021 till 20 March 2021.

The campaign was initiated 20 years ago by the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA). The week long commemorative period is recognised by government where all types of libraries across the country use it as an opportunity to market their service and create awareness on the important role libraries play, advancing literacy, making the basic human right of freedom of access to information a reality and to promote tolerance and respect in society.    

Celebrating National Library Week, the DSRAC MEC Fezeka Nkomonye will officially launch the Mdantsane Mini-Library Studio on 19 March 2021 in Mdantsane. The studio/recording booth will allow narrators to record books for the visually impaired using high technology equipment that will enable the beneficiaries to borrow and listen to the narration at the comfort of their homes.

Highlighting the importance of the Mini-Library Studio MEC Nkomonye indicated that, “A lot of bling people do not read, not because they don’t want to but because they don’t know how to use braille and there’s not a single library hat has taken up the challenge of producing audio books to mitigate the affects of lack of access to these resources. The province will be the first to offer these services with a special focus on vernacular and will be offering the much-needed alternative in the country.”

The launch is done in partnership with South African Library for the Blind (SALB) and Buffalo City Municipality.

The National Library Week is celebrated annually with the aim of raising profile of libraries in South Africa, especially amongst previously disadvantaged communities and this year’s theme is “Libraries Matter!”.

The past year has seen the whole world disrupted in ways that were unimaginable. The declaration by the President for a national state of disaster owing to the rampant spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant loss of lives and livelihoods. The global pandemic has upended everything as we know it and libraries are no exception.

Despite the COVID-19 challenges, may libraries have managed to operate in novel ways in order to remain present and relevant in the lives of their user communities. Libraries have managed to continue providing a service to their communities, from online storytelling to remote access to database and kerbside pickups to online programming.

We continue to build and refurbish libraries across the province to try and bridge the gap between rural and urban communities.

For media queries, contact:

Spokesperson to the MEC                            

Ms Busisiwe Jemsana-Mantashe     

Cell: 071 688 4204                            

Email: Busisiwe.Mantashe@ecsrac.gov.za

Or

Communication Manager

Mr Andile Nduna

Cell: 071 411 4820

Email: Andile.Nduna@ecsrac.gov.za

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