Encouragement for libraries at Municipal Support Seminar
The Municipal Support Services of the Western Cape Library Service (WCLS) held the first day of its annual seminar on 13 September 2018. This seminar seeks to share information on a range of topics for library managers such as funding, collaborations with other departments such as the Western Cape Education Department and a project with the South African Library for the Blind.
Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) Chief Director, Guy Redman, officially opened the seminar and praised the librarians for their hard work and dedication. "Given various challenges that will be covered in the programme, such as budget, it becomes easy to forget how the WCLS is doing," said Redman. He spoke of projects of the Western Cape, and the significant investments being made to the service across the Western Cape. He also highlighted the partnerships between the WCLS and municipalities and thanked them for their contribution to growing the service for communities.
DCAS Head of Department, Brent Walters, offered a message of support to the librarians in attendance and challenged librarians to create a love for reading amongst South African youth in their communities and to provide library material that they can relate and aspire to, which challenges their imagination. "You are challenged to look how to create value in your libraries, that people want to use and protect," he said. He encouraged the librarians to ensure their libraries are centres of hope, opportunity and inclusion for communities.
Anroux Marais, Minister of DCAS, delivered the keynote address at the opening day of the seminar and spoke of the growth of the WCLS. She also highlighted the fact the WCLS is the largest public library service network in Africa. Minister Marais acknowledged the ability of libraries to make a positive contribution to the development, empowerment and upliftment of communities. "By providing access to information, libraries support communities in the exploration and challenging of barriers, values and behaviours… Libraries engage communities on matters of social importance and encourage the social inclusion of all," said Minister Marais.
One of the highlights of the seminar was the handing over of cheques to various municipalities to assist with the development and maintenance of libraries.
DCAS is committed to provide free, equitable and accessible library services to the Western Cape communities. Let us create well-informed, literate communities who are able to express themselves freely. BETTER TOGETHER.