Gauteng South Librarian of the Year 2017

Ms Edith Khuzwayo

BACKGROUD OF EMPLOYMENT

Edith started working in 2001 as a relief worker. She worked at different libraries in the City of Johannesburg and is presently based at Murray Park library.

When Relief workers’ contract was terminated, the Librarian in charge motivated for Edith to be retained. She was retained in a position of a general worker, doing library work. Her desire to be a librarian pushed her to study.  She obtained her National Diploma qualifications in 2008, and Honours in 2011.

  1. PROJECTS

2.1 READING RACE

This is the first project that Edith was given to take charge of, wherein she was encouraging learners   to read.

2.2 WORKING WITH HOSPICE

It was Edith’s idea to start a project with Hospice, when her colleague was diagnosed with HIV and then admitted to a Hospice, where Edith checked on him daily. Working with the Hospice inspired her to start a Vegetable garden.

2.3 Vegetable garden

Edith did the garden with the help of two voluntary workers.  She encouraged patients from the Hospice to help in the garden.  Edith’s relationship with the hospice still exists and she invites the Hospice to give talks on HIV to youth.

  1. Reading Development programmes

These requires transport to reach all schools and learning centres, however she walks long distances to these schools, or even ask her husband to transport her without any demand for refund.

3.1 Battle of the Books, Story Skirmish reading programmes. Edith’s responsibility is to recruit schools to register and coach children in preparation for competitions. Edith does all possible to convince institutions to participate in reading activities.

3.2 Science Scuffle.

Edith takes the responsibility of coaching the learners on information searches.

3.3 Story times with ECD centres.

Edith goes an extra mile and helps these centres with story time and craft work.

3.4 Holiday programs

Edith’s commitment has left an indelible mark, with service providers such as Johannesburg Zoo.  They often invite her to help them with holiday programs , where she does story times and craft work projects to the kids that goes to the Zoo during school holidays.

Her good relationship with Rand Water, Joburg Zoo, Puppet show companies, earns her free services.

3.5 Homework help desk.

Edith goes beyond helping learners find information for their homework. She identifies learners with social problems and refers them to Social workers for intervention. Her passion for these kids has resulted in them getting food parcels.   Edith goes to an extent of buying clothes for some of these kids.  Edith visits these kids’ homes to find out what the problem is and then communicate with schools. The social worker at one school often refers parents who have issues with their kids to Edith.  Edith has turned   Murray Park Library into a home for so many learners in the area, providing food where there is dire need, with the support of her colleagues.  The team at Murray Park often contributes money to buy groceries for families in hopeless situation, whilst referring them.

The home work desk extends to Edith’s home after hours, where kids come for assistance.

3.6     Soul buddyz club

Members are taught to love and share with poor people, focusing on the aged and ECD centres.  Edith believes that before members can take care of other people, they should start with themselves.   The club started in 2013 and obtained position 4 in Gauteng North region in 2015. In 2016, the club obtained 1st position. They celebrate national days such as Mother’s day, father’s day and Valentine’s Day with the aged.  Mandela day was celebrated with one ECD centre where a total of 60 knitted scarfs were donated to the kids.  Members go on yearly educational trips. Edith often help pay transport fees for those who cannot afford.  In 2014, when they undertook a trip to KZN, Edith accommodated all club members in her house in KZN to cut on accommodation costs.

3.7     Nalibali Reading Clubs.

Edith subscribes to Nalibali with 13 reading clubs, one from the library and 12 from schools. Nalibali help kids to read indigenous languages and write their own stories.

3.8     Home Library

Nalibali has entrusted Edith with their books for home library. Users of this library come after hours to Edith’s home where also her family members get involved in assisting the users.

  1. Additional involvements, Leadership roles and recognition

Programmes committee

Edith subscribes to Exclusive book club and uses the skills she acquires from the club in selection of Library material

She knows all her users and knows where most of them stay. She follows up on them, at their homes, on late returns.

Edith is not confined to Murray Park library. She is available where ever need arises, even at schools

She has passion for her community and will unearth those that require attention, and will help or refer them to relevant departments.

She started a youth group in partnership with churches in Murray Park area, meeting after hours.

She has turned Murray Park library into a home for Nalibali. She hosts weekly visitors from Nalibali

Authors are also attracted to the library. Nicky Daly frequents the library.

Edith partners with department of Health and Community development in developing the community she serves.

Her commitment goes beyond Joburg community; with the help of soul buddyz members, she made and sent books to schools in Eastern Cape

Edith earned a Librarian of the year award for Johannesburg Libraries in 2015

Edith was celebrated as Literacy superwoman by Nalibali during women’s month in 2016

She was also recognized as a Literature hero in the local newspaper on 6 August 2015