City of Cape Town librarians took to the streets on Friday as they marched to create awareness of their services in the lead up to South African Library Week (SALW).
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SALW from 20 to 25 March this year and will see various fun activities at libraries across the city.
The event, hosted by the City’s Central Library in the Cape Town CBD, has once again become an annual marker for SALW celebrations after a two-year hiatus.
Yesterday’s march started at the Central Library and was attended by library staff, patrons and supporters who handed out library maps and promotional material to passers-by.
“While the week is aimed at increasing awareness of what is available at our libraries, the march is a reminder these facilities are also fun spaces to learn, socialise and relax,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross.
The theme this year is ‘Libraries Telling Powerful Stories’ and will shine a spotlight on the importance of libraries in communities.
SALW also coincides with Fine Free Week, when patrons have the opportunity to return long overdue library items like books, DVDs, CDs, audio books and magazines without paying the fines due.
Patrons who have lost their library cards will also be able to apply for a free replacement card.
City libraries have lost books valued at millions of rands due to patrons who have failed to return these items.
Roughly 40,000 items worth approximately R4.6 million have not been returned in 2022 alone.
Books from Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, in particular, are overdue with the author’s works accounting for half the entries on the libraries list of top 10 outstanding books.
The list also includes three Grade 12 textbooks among others.
In total, this list accounts for a total of 176 books. Of these 82 of which are from the popular series.
As part of SALW, a series of programs are on offer and residents are encouraged to liaise with their local libraries.
SA Library Week calls for book returns and celebrating powerful stories
Picture: CityofCT / Twitter