The City of Cape Town’s libraries will celebrate National Book Week with a difference due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The annual event, from 7 to 13 September, is aimed at promoting reading and library services.
‘The joy of reading is one of the biggest gifts we can give our children as it brings with it benefits that help them grow mentally, psychologically and emotionally. Celebrating books gives us another opportunity to inspire a new generation of readers and cement a love for words,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
In the past National Book Week signaled a week of amnesty for all library patrons with overdue material, who were encouraged to return them with the promise of no questions asked.
Since March 2020, library patrons have been allowed to hold onto the books and other library materials in their possession, without incurring any fines.
Drop and Collect Library Service
The department started phasing in a drop and collect service and to date 22 libraries are offering the service. Libraries will continue to open in phases. Patrons are reminded to return their library material as and when the library closest to them opens.
National Book Week is a campaign aimed at promoting reading and libraries across the country and seeks to foster a culture of reading and literacy. It includes World Literacy Day on 8 September, when South Africans are encouraged to read, dream and share their favourite stories on various platforms.
The City’s Library Services would like to encourage patrons to return any material and give others the opportunity to also read and share these gems.
‘Our libraries will encourage patrons to read books by African authors as we are in awe of all the wonderful options from the continent and of course, local is lekker,’ said Councillor Badroodien.
To ensure that you have access to reading material during National Book Week 2020, visit the newly upgraded Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)to browse, reserve and renew your books.
Registered library members can also click on the PressReader icon to gain instant access to more than 7000 current magazines and newspapers from around the world, which can be downloaded and read at leisure. Titles such as You/Huisgenoot, Bona Magazine, Drum, Die Burger, The Sunday Times, Rapport, the Sowetan, Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo etc are freely available.
If you are not sure where the libraries are, you can access the locations from the OPAC via the maps option. You can also download the Bookmyne app, which gives you access to the OPAC on your smartphone. If you are not familiar with OPAC, there is a convenient user guide on the page and it will help you navigate the site with ease.
Whimsical Wednesday storytelling
Be sure not to miss your favourite story on Wednesdays when the City’s Library and Information Service releases its popular Whimsical Wednesday storytelling, aimed at children but enjoyed by everybody. This virtual storytelling session is posted on social media.
During National Book Week, social media will be abuzz with information from LiBee, the newly launched library mascot (see photo). She is buzzed about reading and will help librarians to promote National Book Week and to encourage children and parents to love and enjoy books.
See also Cape Town Green Map