20 March 2019

South Africa: Ekurhuleni Suspends Fines for National Library Week

The City of Ekurhuleni has given people amnesty to return overdue library books without paying fines.

Boxes will be placed in libraries, where users can place long outstanding books, the city said.

The fine-free week is part of South African Library Week celebrations which end on Saturday.

This year's theme for Library Week is 'Collaborate @ your library'. It seeks to encourage libraries and communities to forge mutually beneficial relationships.

Library Week recognises the vital role played by the libraries in integrating users into the new world characterised by sharing of information. This applies to all libraries that include those that are based in schools, public libraries and academic libraries.

"Libraries are so much more than just books. They reflect and serve communities according to their needs.

"They offer vital resources to address community needs, and are places where the community gathers to the interface on community issues," Ekurhuleni's Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Services Dora Mlambo said.

Government has encouraged South Africans to use the week to read books written in indigenous languages and by African writers. This will ensure that the country's diversity and unique heritage continues to unite South Africans.

Government wants South Africans to use the week to support the culture of reading and incorporate it into their daily lifestyles, especially among children.

Research shows that children who enjoy reading not only perform better in school but also develop a broader vocabulary and increased general knowledge.

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