New library for the community of Boekenhouthoek

Written by Noluthando Motswai

Sport, arts and culture

The opening of Zithabiseni Public Library in Boekenhouthoek in Mpumalanga will go a long way towards improving reading in the community.

The Zithabiseni Public Library, recently opened by Mpumalanga Culture, Sport and Recreation MEC Norah Mahlangu, is expected to change the face of the Boeken-houthoek community.

The state-of-the-art library has a study area, media room used for watching educational materials, and a play area for children which will  be utilised by children and teachers for storytelling and play activities.

There is also a computer room with internet and wifi access. MEC Mahlangu urged the community to look after the library and to use it to improve their lives.

The library has 5 506 books and other resources. Books are issued to community members who are registered as library members and they can borrow a maximum of four books for 14 days. The library will service six high schools, eight primary schools and 10 pre-schools within the Bomandu community, which is made up of three wards. 

MEC Mahlangu set aside R30 million for building new libraries in the province. The department also budgeted R10 million to upgrade two libraries, in Mashishing and Standerton. It will also maintain seven libraries. She said her department would be providing 25 000 books to public libraries across the province. Included will be books that accurately capture South Africa’s history.

She added that her department is committed to rendering quality services to people with disabilities through libraries for the blind, which are incorporated into existing libraries. Fourteen libraries in the province will provide the following services:

  • Daisy Player (CD) – This caters for both literate and illiterate people, who are able to listen to audio books.
  • Document Reader – These transcribe printed matter into speech.
  • A library designed specifically for blind users.

Operating hours are from Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:00 and access to the library is free to the community.  

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