Minister Marais Encourages All To Use 361 Provincial Library Centres
South African Library Week is a reading campaign which takes place annually during the third week of March. This significant week aims to promote reading and the use of our beautiful libraries.
In partnership with local municipalities, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s Library Service is rolling out reading related programmes from 14-17 March 2016 under this year’s theme #libraries4lifelonglearning.
The theme #libraries4lifelonglearning is based on the premise that learning occurs in diverse environments. Lifelong learning has broader scope and consequences than that of formal education and would significantly benefit from access to well-resourced libraries. The levels of education among South Africans – especially the older generations – vary, largely due to a historic politically enforced agenda of inequality. Herein lies the potential to make a difference by bridging the gap between a traditional system of formal education and a broader system of learning.
Lifelong learning provides opportunities to dissolve boundaries that may be in place among traditional sectors: education, the labour market and industry; or other facets of society, whether these are geographic, socio-cultural or political. Through functional library services, people have greater insight into the ways of others which will lead to more understanding and tolerance.
Libraries therefore play an instrumental role in lifelong learning as they:
- provide people with learning resources in various formats
- advance literacy through intellectual and creative support
- provide access to global knowledge and information to advance research and create new knowledge
- foster a spirit of enquiry and curiosity
- create a desire for lifelong learning
- instill respect for diverse beliefs, opinions and views
- contribute towards the development of South Africans as an informed nation
- develop a digitally literate nation
- empower people for prosperity
Speaking at the launch, Minister Marais said: “I encourage all to visit and take ownership of the 361 library centres currently affiliated to the provincial library service during this important week. I trust Vredendal and the Western Cape at large will enjoy National Library Week to promote lifelong learning and make it a 365 day campaign.”