No library fines during library week

Library patrons can return all overdue books and other library materials without being fined during South African Library Week from Monday March 20 to Saturday March 25.

You can return your overdue books and other library materials without being fined during South African Library Week, from Monday March 20 to Sunday March 26.

City libraries are missing millions of rands worth of overdue books and other resources, including some 40 000 items, worth an estimated R4.6 million, which were not returned in 2022 alone, according to mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross.

“Not returning books or other material not only impacts the library and our service financially but robs other patrons of enjoying them. Libraries are a wonderful source of information and leisure, but unreturned items means that pleasure is lost to many,” she said.

This year’s library week theme is “libraries telling powerful stories”, and, according to Rebecca Senyolo, national secretary of the Library and Information Association of South Africa, it draws on communities having many stories to tell about what libraries mean to them.

“Libraries are the only public place where all members of the community, from a toddler to a pensioner, can access services free of charge,” she said.

“Libraries have evolved over the years; they no longer provide books to read, current information and references only. Libraries are a one-stop shop for any information needs and have become a link between the communities and the world.”

Far south libraries will be running programmes for young and old during the week.

At Fish Hoek library, there will be a storytelling session and magic show for children up to the age of 6.

At Kommetjie library, children’s author Linda Fellowes will read her stories and Maryna Stotesbury will run an adult workshop on how to make a beaded sun-catcher.

At Ocean View library there will be a “dream library” poster competition; business owners will talk about how they started their enterprises; community elders will share their library stories; and authors Sarah Collins and Earl Mentor will read from their respective books, Anguish to Awakening and Cape Flats Karma: Planting the seed.

At Muizenberg library, there will be a Friends of the Library Market, a visit by False Bay College and storytelling for preschools.

At Masiphumelele library, Fish Hoek fire station will give a fire-safety demonstration; Living Hope will perform health checks and there will be storytelling and indigenous games for children.

For more information visit capetown.gov.za or contact your nearest library.