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Education And Training

Libraries go cover to cover to promote reading and literacy

The City’s libraries continue to be hot spots in their communities, with gate readings for the financial year to date (July to March) clocking nearly 7,1 million visits.

The number of items circulated or booked out by patrons is more than 4,6 million, and over a six-month period between July and December, 18 407 new members signed up.

Staff also facilitated 5 323 storytelling sessions, and 569 reading programmes. These initiatives attracted nearly 33 000 children just in the first three months of this year.

 ‘If anyone has any doubt about a library’s place in society, hopefully these statistics will set the record straight. For many, the local library is where they are able to spark a relationship with stories and words, and books, and the many doors that these unlock. This World Book Day we want to encourage everyone to read their way – at their own pace, in their own time, and whatever title or topic tickles their fancy.

 ‘It’s also important to remember that children live what they learn, so while much of our focus is on literacy in this age group, we as adults need to lead from the front. It is important to read with your children, but also let them see you reading for your own enjoyment. Books and the stories they hold should be lifelong companions for both young and old,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

 The City’s libraries are home to a number of classic titles, but a lot of work goes into expanding and updating their collections.

 Materials are updated on a continuous basis, and each library draws up a collection development plan that guides their purchases – usually aligned to the needs of the community that the particular library serves.

 ‘Some stories are timeless, and will always be on the shelves, but our Library and Information Service does a lot to keep up with the times. The City recognises that the storylines and narratives change as generations do, and what might appeal to Gen X are not necessarily page-turners for Gen Z or Gen Alpha. So we have to make  sure that these spaces remain relevant to all,’ added Councillor Van der Ross.

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