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​Library Week a fine-free period for Joburg users

As the South African Library Week – which started on Saturday March 14 – gets into full swing, Johannesburg library users will be happy to know that they will not be fined for long overdue books.

Councillor Chris Vondo, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Development says Library Week is “a fine-free period”.

“There will be no fines to be paid and no questions asked. And upon the return of your long overdue books, your membership could also be reinstated at your request,” says MMC Vondo. Library Week ends on Human Rights Day on Saturday March 21 but the “fine-free” offer will be in place until March 28.

The City has a network of 187 libraries. Nobuntu Mpendulo, the City’s Director of Library and Information Services says the City’s library staff members strive to be active members of the community and partners in “developing an informed and educated nation”. Every year during March librarians across the country host special programmes to highlight services and resources provided by libraries.

This year’s Library Week theme – “Connect @ Your Library” – reiterates the idea that libraries connect people to others and to knowledge, information, print and electronic resources, as well as technology and professional support.

Library staff across the City will use this opportunity to invite community members to visit their nearest library and take time to ask about special services they offer. In Johannesburg, Library Week is used to promote its Ready to Read Programme, which involves more than 160 crèches.

It is also used to promote Our Story Skirmish and Battle of the Books among 400 schools, Science Scuffle in more than 180 schools, and services in old age homes and at the Department of Correctional Services’ facilities. Over and above making information resources available, libraries provide a safe place for children and learners to enjoy themselves by reading books and doing their homework.

Anyone interested in connecting with a library is asked to contact Maryna Moolman on (011) 226-0935 or email marynam@joburg.org.za.