Friday, March 19, 2010

LIASA: WC Endorses the Equal Education Campaign during SA Library Week

“Further, in regard to community libraries, EE would like to point out that it is not good enough for the DoE to offload its responsibilities onto the Department of Arts & Culture and municipalities who provide public libraries. For the majority of children in South Africa, these public libraries provide their only access to books. There are no books in most homes, and children, from the age of 7 – when they are supposed to learn to read – are expected to travel large, often unsafe distances to access reading material in public libraries. Further, anyone entering a township public library on a weekday afternoon during the school term will find the place crammed full, with young people queuing for hours to access books, computers and photocopy machines. This can render the public library unusable for the adult public, and also makes it difficult for young people to use it as a quiet place for homework and exam preparations. Lastly, public librarians, who do a sterling job, are not trained in terms of the school curriculum.” (Equal Education Press Release, 17 December 2009)

LIASA has chosen as “Reading Changes Lives” as the theme for SA Library Week, 20 -27 March 2010. In observing South African Library Week in the Western Cape, and in support of this theme, LIASA Western Cape supports Equal Education's campaign for school libraries "1 school 1 library 1 librarian" .

No matter which library sector we work in, we see the direct effects of very few schools having school libraries. The public libraries are the only alternative and are very often overwhelmed. In the academic sector, we see students battling because they have little or no information literacy skills.

This support for the EE campaign has also been taken up at a national level with SLYSLIG supporting the Equal Education campaign and has called for members in Gauteng to join the March for School Libraries on 26th March.


In the Western Cape, the March for School Libraries takes place on Sunday 21 March from 11.30 am from Thibault Square. We encourage LIASA members, their colleagues, families and friends to join the march.


If you haven't signed the Petition, then we encourage you to do it online.


At our End-of-Year Recruitment Breakfast, held in December 2009, we collected books that would be donated to an identified project. We have decided hand over this collection to the Equal Education book drive as another measure of support of the campaign.

Posted on behalf Nazeem Hardy, Chair LIASA Western Cape

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