SALW 2018

South African Library Week  2018 Theme:
     Libraries: Heart of the Community

South African Library Week 2018 Dates:
     16 – 23 March  2018

Rationale:

The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) is celebrating South African Library Week from 16-23 March 2018 with the theme Libraries: heart of the Community.

The launch event will be held on Monday, 19 March 2018 at the National Library of South Africa, Cape Town campus.

The theme “Libraries: heart of the Community” re-emphasizes the idea that libraries belong to the community and are central to it. All libraries, whether it is a School, Public, Academic or Special library, are at the heart of their communities, to offer vital resources to address community needs, and are places where the community gathers. They are open to their own communities, and provide essential services to help people and neighborhoods thrive. From internet access and help with homework, to story-times and language programs, libraries provide free accessible space, information resources and services for everyone.

In keeping with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the LIASA Presidential theme, which is about inclusion and working together to achieve a common vision, libraries play a significant role by increasing access to information in support of the development agenda.

LIASA remains aligned with the South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 that will shape communities through among others, skill development in a focused attempt to reduce unemployment especially amongst the youth. Although not recognized as such, a library nourishes and sustains its community, hence this theme encourages and motivates members of society to reflect on the role and value of libraries in their lives.

Libraries have positioned themselves in this space between aspiration and delivery, providing support for education and are the heart of every community… libraries are so much more than books:

  • Libraries mirror, reflect and serve communities according to their needs.
  • Libraries provide a place to find the resources to learn new skills.
  • Libraries provide an opportunity to fight unemployment, illiteracy, digital illiteracy and loneliness.
  • Libraries connect people, up-skill them, enable creative learning and build communities.
  • Libraries are bridging the disparities within communities.

Just like 2017’s theme, the 2018 theme “Libraries: heart of the Community” is a reminder to all library users that the library is a communal space that caters to specific needs whether these are educational, social, recreational or informative.

In 2017, the Library Association celebrated its 20th anniversary and given its mission encompassing the development of South Africa through access to information, it is imperative that the South African public is invited to partner with LIASA to make “Libraries: the heart of the Community”.

In addition to this, in 2018 public libraries in South Africa will be commemorating 200 years of existence, as the first National Library in South Africa (South African Library) was found in Cape Town in 1818. This was the forerunner of the current National Library of South Africa, Cape Town campus, and is thus making it an ideal venue for the launch of South African Library Week 2018.

ABOUT LIASA

LIASA is the national professional association that represents libraries and information institutions; all library and information workers; and millions of users and potential users of libraries in South Africa.  LIASA aims to unite, develop and empower all people in the library and information field.  It represents the interests of and promotes the development and image of library and information services in South Africa. More information about the historic relevance of SA Library Week, can be found at:  http://www.liasa.org.za/south-african-library-week/

For further information, please contact:

Ms Senovia Welman LIASA National PRO: 078 132 5965 senovia@ufs.ac.za

Mr Mandla Ntombela LIASA President: 083 478 4626 president@liasa.org.za