Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SA Library Week 2008 - Theme and dates

S A Library Week will be celebrated during the week of 17 to 22 March 2008, with the theme “From local to global @ your library. “

The theme has been inspired by the story of Neal Petersen, the South African yachtsman who was the first black man to sail solo around the world, who says that he would not be where he is today without libraries. Growing up as a young boy on the Cape Flats, he discovered sailing and the art of navigation through books in his local public library and from there truly went from local to global through his

Libraries bridge the world and are places of opportunity, as Neal testifies. Libraries are about more than having access to information; it is about what one does with that information and where it can take one. Imagine a young boy discovering books about sailing; a university student doing research; an academic finding the latest research through resources made available by the library; the budding entrepreneur getting guidance on how to set a business up; the young schoolgirl
locating information for her research, or an unemployed person posting his/her curriculum vitae (cv) on to websites using the computer provided by the public library or emailing in response to an advertisement he read in the newspaper at his library.

Libraries are also about reading and encouraging a culture of reading, enabling one to explore the world and to broaden one’ s horizons … “going from local to global”. Think about the internationally published writers who started out by attending writing workshops at their public library; there are the literacy classes run by libraries. What of the steel trunk and container libraries of Biblionef taking
books to the rural areas? What about the project by the National Library of South Africa to publish and disseminate more books in indigenous languages? The examples are endless.

As the Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Pallo Jordan reminded us in his keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony of the IFLA/World Library and Information Congress, the eighth clause of the Freedom Charter says “The doors of learning and culture shall be opened” and continues “All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands”. And where better than @ your library where one can go from local to global through books,
internet and other electronic and digital media? Libraries are indeed places which allow people to go beyond themselves; that bridge the world and provide opportunities to access to a world of information and other cultures.

The national launch of SA Library Week 2008 will be hosted by Mpumalanga. It takes place on Saturday 15th March 2008 at the Kruger National Park. More details will follow closer to the time.

LIASA welcomes all its members and libraries across South Africa to join in celebrating SA Library Week 2008 through giving unique expression to its theme ”From local to global @ your library.”

Ingrid Thomson
National Public Relations Officer
Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)
P O Box 34181

Tel: +27 21 650 3703
Cell: 083 692 4254
Fax: +27 21 689 7568
IM: MSN ( )

Libraries: Your key to the future

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