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Unisa LIS and City of Johannesburg Libraries collaborate to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day

by Itumeleng Mpete on 2024-05-22T12:38:00+02:00 | 0 Comments
Unisa Library and Information Services (ULIS) recently partnered with the City of Johannesburg Libraries to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day. The stimulating event took place at the Sandton Library, where book enthusiasts, creators, and advocates gathered to honour the magic of literature.


Unisa Library & Information Services and City of Johannesburg Libraries staff members

In her opening remarks, Mashudu Singo, Assistant Director for Region E Libraries at Sandton Library, painted a verbal picture of a society where knowledge is accessible to everyone, biases are eradicated, and compassion is at the forefront. She expressed the belief that when libraries and universities collaborate, they contribute to social cohesion, lifelong learning, and the preservation of cultural values. She further acknowledged the hard work of librarians, educators, and researchers, whose combined efforts strengthen the link between generations, allowing us to learn from history, excel in the present, and build a better future.

Dudu Nkosi, Director of IR Content Management at Unisa Library, observed that World Book and Copyright Day celebrates the enduring influence of books and the rights that protect them. She urged South Africans to appreciate the efforts of authors, who play a pivotal role in expanding knowledge, and the contributions of editors, illustrators, translators and publishers, who make books accessible. She further drew the audience's attention to the crucial role of librarians in curating and preserving books for everyone's enjoyment. She said: "Books are more than just physical objects – they represent freedom of expression, universal education, and the preservation of culture and heritage while fostering imagination and promoting literacy."

In her address, Dr Modiehi Rammutloa, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Information Science, emphasised the importance of strengthening the culture of reading to ensure that no one is left behind. She discussed how literacy can transform individuals and communities and highlighted the value of early exposure to books and storytelling, as these experiences form the foundation for lifelong learning. She also underlined the need for reading role models in communities so that children can observe positive reading habits. She encouraged treating reading as an enjoyable activity rather than a chore. She called for libraries to be more accessible, serving as community hubs for borrowing books, hosting workshops, and organising literary events. Rammutloa also stressed the importance of diverse and inclusive book collections to ensure that everyone's experiences are validated.


Unisa Library & Information Services and Library & Information Association of South Africa staff members with attendees at Vryburg Voorbereiding School

Mandy Johnson, an author and relationship and recovery coach, shared her personal journey with books, illustrating how reading played a pivotal role in her recovery, provided healing, and boosted her confidence. Her story underscores that reading is not just an intellectual pursuit but a powerful tool for personal development and transformation.

To further observe World Book and Copyright Day, ULIS, in collaboration with the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), held an exhibition on 24 April 2024 at the Vryburg Voorbereiding School. The Department of Education in North-West Province and other organisations celebrated the event by inviting schools to showcase their learners' creativity through arts and culture. At the same time, ULIS played a Unisa library video to emphasise the importance of literature. Learners demonstrated their abilities by reading poems and stories in different languages, displaying their artwork, and presenting stories written and published by other learners.

Dr Boitshepo Seobi of Mammutla Secondary School said: "Books are more than just a collection of words or ink on paper; they are doors to other worlds and forces for transformation." Gobolang Valtyw, representing the North-West Department of Arts, Culture, Sport, and Recreation, referred to libraries as knowledge machines and suggested that for individuals to evolve and become better human beings, they should read every day.

Attendees at the Vryburg Voorbereiding School

The event was a wonderful celebration of literature, creativity, and the joy of reading. Awards were presented to encourage creativity, critical thinking, and appreciation of diverse viewpoints. Jeanette Gabonnwe, Chief Executive Officer of Somarela Puo Publishers congratulated Reletlhogonolo Motlhobatsie, Reotshepile Stegel, and Rathebe Dibueng, learners between the ages of 13 to 18, who have written and published books.


*By Itumeleng Mpete, Library Marketing Administrator and Busisiwe Manala, Library Marketing Officer

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