Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi to launch the 2015 South African Library Week (SALW)
Arts and Culture Deputy Minister, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MP, in partnership with the National Library of South Africa and the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) will launch the South African Library Week (SALW) on Friday, 13 March 2015 at the Centre for the of Books in Cape Town, Western Cape.
The 2015 South African Library Week will be observed from 13 - 21 March 2015 under the theme, Connect @ your library! Its main objective is to draw the attention of all South Africans to the importance of libraries and reading.
“The theme resonates with the belief that libraries connect people to each other; to knowledge and information; as well as to technology and professional support. This theme also highlights the importance of library practitioners connecting with each other, across all sectors, for the sharing of skills, best practices, global trends and national priorities, so that a strong cohort of professionals emerge with a common understanding and vision for the development of an informed nation. Libraries play a pivotal role in giving communities access to reading material and are central in building a reading nation’, said Mabudafhasi.
Speaking during his visit to the Harare Library at Khayelitsha, the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the following: “Books allow a person to break free from the chains of ignorance and intolerance. They allow a society to free its people to develop, prosper and advance. Literature is a powerful tool for social dialogue, cohesion and nation building. Our capacity to create and to write shows that we can be greater than our pain and suffering. Books turn wounds into wisdom. They turn despair into hope.”
Research conducted by the South African Book Development Council has indicated that only 14% of South Africans are active book readers and a mere 5% of parents read to their children. It further indicated that 51% of households in South Africa did not have a single book in their home.
“The Government through the Department of Arts and Culture is committed to preserve, develop and promote South African literature in all its forms and genres. These initiatives are augmented by the presence of new and renovated library infrastructures in the various communities through the R3 billion Community Library Conditional Grant”, said Mabudafhasi.
During this month, librarians across the country will host special programmes during this week to highlight the services and resources available in their facilities. Members of the public are encouraged to visit their libraries and participate in these activities.
“All types of libraries across the country will use the National Library Week as an opportunity to market their services in an effort to contribute to the understanding of 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”, said Mabudafhasi.
We celebrate Human Rights Day on 21 March and the Bill of Rights also recognizes freedom of access to information as a basic human right.
The DAC has made significant progress in the field of library and information services across the country and will continue to invest in the development of this sector as part of improving the culture of reading and writing in our society.
Enquiries: Peter Mbelengwa, Deputy Minister’s Spokesperson: 082 611 8197