Libraries are a vital community resource

January 8, 2018

Libraries are an important resource for promoting a culture of reading, making information available on South Africa’s history, heritage and cultures and preserving our cultural heritage.

A fully-resourced and modern library is an advantage to the community and an important access point to the internet.

The DA believes that ALL communities deserve libraries which are vibrant community centres where artistic and cultural development programmes as well as activities can take place.

Libraries provide access to a safe studying environment, especially for disadvantaged young people.

Under the ANC, libraries stand empty or are under-resourced. Many community members are forced to travel vast distances to reach their nearest library.

Clearly the ANC does not appreciate the valuable role which libraries play within our communities.

Libraries should be stocked with books, and equipped with computers and Wi-Fi with access to an electronic database of books.

Libraries should have dedicated study areas, a children’s library and a reference section.

Qualified and professional staff should be available to assist library users as these individuals play a pivotal role in advancing literacy and the acquisition of knowledge in our communities. This is a non-negotiable standard.

In remote rural areas and small towns, innovative ways must be found to promote library access – for example: through library services at Thusong Centres; through Wheelie Wagon Libraries; or through community access to school libraries.

The DA recognises that libraries are custodians of knowledge resources, preservers of South Africa’s heritage and promote reading, writing and publishing in South Africa’s official languages.

A DA-led government would continue to invest in the resourcing and upgrading of libraries.

The DA-led Western Cape library successes show that libraries can become an integral part of the communities which they serve.

If you use your vote to put us in charge of Gauteng in 2019, we will ensure that communities have the much-needed access to well-staffed and well-resourced libraries.