MEC Shongwe unvailed the plaque at the handover ceremony of the new library at Thubelihle on Thursday
The new library was planned a long time ago but was only realised now.
The community will surely benefit from this initiative.
“It is fitting that we are gathered here today to witness the Official Opening of Thubelihle Public Library during an important period in the library sector.” said MEC Shongwe, “The Official Opening of Thubelihle Public Library falls within the South African Library Week, which started on March 15. Library Week is regarded as sacrosanct by librarians and all those associated with the sector. Library Week was initiated in 2001 to market services of the fountain of knowledge and create awareness of the important role they play in democratic South Africa.”
This Library is the 117th that was unveiled and they all have the same plans according to the MEC.
The following services will be offered by the library:
- Information Communications Technology: 22 computers will be available for the public to use.
- Photocopier will be available that can copy, fax and scan.
- Printing services will be available.
- Free internet and wi-fi.
- Library material can be borrowed.
- Special Library for the Blind. The room is specially provided for the visually impaired community to use special material such as, special computers loaded with the JAWS Reader, Document reader and other materials
Here is the MEC’s full speach:
ADDRESS BY MEC THANDI SHONGWE DURING THE OPENING OF THUBELIHLE PUBLIC LIBRARY ON THURSDAY, MARCH 18 AT EMALAHLENI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, NKANGALA DISTRICT.
Programme Director, BM Mtsweni
Executive Mayor of Nkangala District Municipality, Cllr S Masilela
Executive Mayor of Emalahleni Local Municipality, Cllr L Malatjie
Head of Department, Mr GS Ntombela
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen
Programme Director, it is fitting that we are gathered here today to witness the Official Opening of Thubelihle Public Library during an important period in the library sector.
The Official Opening of Thubelihle Public Library falls within the South African Library Week, which started on March 15. Library Week is regarded as sacrosanct by librarians and all those associated with the sector. Library Week was initiated in 2001 to market services of the fountain of knowledge and create awareness of the important role they play in democratic South Africa.
The role of libraries in society cannot be overemphasized as they play a key role in shaping the futures of young people and opening new vistas for users.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is for this reason that Government decided to mark this year’s Library Week with a two-word theme, Libraries Matter. These two words speak volume on the importance of libraries in the development and upliftment of our people.
Today, our people, the people of GaNala can access Information and Communication Technology services they were denied before. They now have a state-of-the-art library connected to the Internet, WiFi, a computer room, kids’ play area and MiniLib, which caters for visually impaired users.
The opening of the library is a boon for pupils in Bonginhlanhla Primary and Sibongamandla High schools, who now have access to information that will go a long way to help them improve their grades.
The little ones in local crèches are not left out as they too will learn about their ABCs at this edifice.
Programme Director, indeed Libraries Matter and let me count the ways:
Libraries play an important role in preserving and promoting our literary and cultural heritage.
Libraries play an important role in life-long learning by providing access to learning programmes from the cradle to the grave.
Libraries play a vital role in inculcating and fostering a literate society, from early literacy through storytelling and making materials available to children for reading and play, to providing access to a variety of reading and audio-visual materials for all ages, in all languages and reading formats.
Libraries support academic success by providing access to valuable reference sources and databases; they encourage further research and thus contribute to the growth of the knowledge base of the country.
Libraries provide access to the Internet (WiFi as well as public computer access).
The opening of the library is a testament the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation is committed and working hard to bring services closer to the people.
Working with each one of you, we can grow Mpumalanga together. We can protect the library against vandalism and other rogue elements. Working together we can use the library as a launchpad to turn this community into a major force that produces well informed and well read citizens.
As a Department, we are duty bound to protect the library from vandals and criminals who see it as get rich quickly schemes by stealing computers and pawning them.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to appeal to you to be ambassadors of safety and look after this library to ensure that it is not vandalized. After all, Thubelihle Public Library is here to serve you. It has provided full-time job opportunities to three community members and it will assist hundreds others to land their dreams jobs as it is also a resource centre teeming with reading materials to help one prepare for an interview or examinations.
As a community, you must guard it jealously against vandalism that sabotages the Department’s efforts of creating safer communities. During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, I urge users to always adhere to health and safety protocols of social distancing, sanitizing and wearing facemasks, at all times.
In conclusion, I want to remind you that March is Human Rights Month and the country will commemorate Human Rights Day on Monday, March 21. 61 years on, we must not forget those who lost their lives so that we can live in a democratic dispensation. The theme for this year’s Human Rights Month is, The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: Promoting Human Rights in the Age of Covid-19.
Human Rights Month together with the Bill of Rights recognizes the freedom of access to information as a basic human right.
Programme Director, it is pleasing to note that today we achieved four important things in one event – we opened a library, celebrated Library Week, commemorated Human Rights Month and we learnt that Libraries Matter.
I thank you.
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