KwaZulu-Natal Branch Librarian of the Year 2018

Ms Sbongile Doncabe

I hail from the simple and modest community of rural Port Shepstone.  It is in the beautiful hills and fields of Port Shepstone that my formative years were influenced and shaped my life ; it is here that I was bitten by the reading bug.  As a child I was mesmerised by the wonderful stories my grandmother would tell us. I embraced my schooling career with an ambition to do social work in the community.

I was fortunate to be a pioneer staff that opened the doors of the Kwa Makhutha Library in 1999. I joined the Library as a Part Time Library Assistant. In 2009 I was promoted to the post of Librarian at the Amanzimtoti Library.  The Milestones of Amanzimtoti Library will indicate that I was the first Black female Librarian to be appointed in a predominantly white community.

I was a volunteer for the National Library week held at Umsunduzi in 2009 and was grateful for the opportunity .I grew in my position and with the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I initiated many projects aimed at marginalised communities and improving on and sustaining the programmes of the Amanzimtoti Library. It was here that I partnered with the Library of the Blind and engaged in many fruitfull initiatives with them.

To bridge the gap between the marginalised society I have approached the  Amanzimtoti School for the blind in  2011  an initiated a book club and artwork competition. I encouraged the usage of the Library by the rural Schools when I approached DR Made Primary School in 2010. I initiated a book club and a storytelling with grade 7 leaners which  improved their pass rate as they gained 100% since then. The Library was nominated on the Durban City stars for  the best service category in 2013  and came second.

My ability to communicate to communicate people from all walks of life made me a Busy Bee in satisfying their recreational and educational needs. Many of the programmes are still sustained by the current staff of the Amanzimtoti Library.

I was appointed Senior Librarian in 2014.I am the Chairperson of the Outreach Committee for all EThekwini  Libraries programmes since 2010, hence I have been involved in planning of the Library week Celebrations,  both for  National and Local when hosted by Ethekwini Municipality. I have been involved in planning the outreach programs for the department and approaching relevant stakeholders for the UNESCO City of Literature as well as planning for the articulate Africa.

I am currently serving as the Secretary for LIASA KZN since 2017.I have been involved in the Local organising   committee for the Provincial Library week held at Ixopo in 2017. I have  participated in the planning of the Local organising committee for the provincial Advocacy seminars and  AGM for 2017 and 2018. I am  influenced by “Librarians who dare” and hope that I contribute to society in a  positive way  as a member of LIASA and advocating for  my profession.