On Thursday, 30 July 2015, the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s Library Service celebrated 60 years of existence.
Guests arrived to a historical display that showed how the Library Service had evolved throughout the years. One of the guests was former Director Johan Swiegelaar, who gave an interesting talk on the history of the Library Service. It was clear that his passion for libraries still lives on.
Nomaza Dingayo, current Director of Library Service, spoke about the overall picture at Library Service now and how the nature of their work is changing as we move into a time where digital media plays a bigger role in the distribution of books.
The focus of the celebrations was on acknowledging how far the service had come over the years. Head of Department Brent Walters said that the Library Service has developed into what it is today because of the hard work of all staff members – past and present. “The Library Service is standing on the shoulder of giants. Thank you to everyone who has contributed through their work.” he said.
Minister Anroux Marais emphasised the importance of libraries in children’s education. “We must foster a love of reading for children and you are helping to do that through your work. Congratulations on 60 years of service excellence.” she said.
As part of the celebrations, Minister Marais also unveiled new photos of all the Directors (past and present) of Library Services and then a birthday cake was cut for all guests to enjoy.
DCAS offers communities well-stocked libraries. Community members should support their library in order for them to continue their work. Let us create well-read, knowledgeable communities BETTER TOGETHER.
Happy 60th Birthday to Library Service
Did you know that the Western Cape Government Library Service is the biggest network of its kind in Africa? This alone calls for a celebration but we are also having a major celebration on 30 and 31 July 2015 for the 60th anniversary of this unique service that connects communities in the Western Cape.
In 1955 the Library Service included both the Northern and Eastern Cape provinces. Currently we are the proud owners of a network of 361 library service points. This includes 292 public libraries, 42 mini libraries and 27 depots with sufficient stock available to the 1,2 million registered users in the Western Cape. The most important ‘asset’ of the service is, of course, the 223 staff members, EPWP beneficiaries and PAY interns.
Some of our staff members were very outspoken about the 60th celebrations; Neville Adonis could hardly hide his enthusiasm: “It is a journey to work at Library Service and an exciting adventure to be part of the project team that is responsible for the logistics of the 60th celebrations”, says Adonis.
Director of Library Service Nomaza Dingayo says that the network’s success is a demonstration of healthy partnerships with the 25 municipalities in the Western Cape, the national Department of Arts and Culture, the Library and Information Association of South Africa, the National Library of South Africa and also the other provincial libraries in the country. “We are transforming libraries into techno hubs where the people can feel at home. Providing free broadband internet access and the plans to roll out wi-fi hotspots will change the lives of communities for the better,” says Dingayo.
The celebrations will, amongst others, see a historical display in the foyer of the Hospital Street entrance of the offices of Library Service and the publication of a special edition of the bi-monthly Cape Librarian magazine.
We encourage you to take the celebration to another level. If you are not yet a member of one of our libraries, please don’t hesitate – join your local library and become part of this legendary network. Our libraries have a wealth of knowledge and stories and connect you to other people, ideas and information!