Provincial Library Services Exhibit at the Cape Town Book Fair
Western Cape libraries were well represented at the 2012 Cape Town Book Fair held at the city's International Convention Centre from 15 to 17 June. Library Services, which is part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), had a stand reminiscent of a library with a coffee table and a couch. Its slideshow informed visitors about the support that the service offers libraries throughout the province.
Book lovers were invited to participate in a Library Services competition with a book hamper as a prize. The lucky winner was advised on the last day of the Fair. The Dapertment stand also had activity books for children to colour in pictures and fill in puzzles.
The Publishing Association of South Africa (PASA) started the Book Fair seven years ago. It has since grown into a focal point for book lovers and publishers in sub-Saharan Africa. The event is an opportunity for a great variety of bookshops and publishers to exhibit what they have to offer. It also creates a space for the exchange of information between people in the publishing business. Book Fair activities included talks and readings by famous authors, and a workshop on editing attended by some Department language practitioners. In amongst the hustle and bustle of the exhibition stands were a variety of quieter separate areas such as literary forums, the Poetry Cafe, the Media Lounge, the Business Lounge, the food court as well as a kid's corner with colourful bean bags and tables with crayons and paper.
At an entry fee of R50-R60 the Book Fair offered good value for money. Ms Szerena Knapp from Library Services reported that, from the first day, there had already been "a lot of positive feedback" from the public.
The Cape Town Book Fair is a premier event on the annual calendar. This year's fair succeeded in bringing together The Departmens Library Services and a host of other exhibitors, book lovers, authors and poets, showing the power of bringing people together around a shared interest.