LIASA has declared 14 to 18 March 2005, South
African Library Week. During this week stakeholders will celebrate and promote
library and information services throughout South Africa with the theme: "Libraries:
opening the doors of learning and culture to all".
The theme is derived
from President Thabo Mbeki's inaugural speech earlier this year when he called
for learning and culture to be made available to all South Africans. In addition,
2005 marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, a milestone in South Africa's
struggle for liberation and the basis on which the new South Africa is founded.
Libraries around the country will be able to demonstrate their contribution to
learning and culture through focusing on this theme.
It has become tradition
to launch the Week in a different province of the country as a way of highlighting
the role that libraries play in a democratic society, advancing literacy and making
the basic human right of freedom of access to information a reality. During this
period LIASA aims to make all South Africans aware that libraries contribute to
nation - building and improving the quality of life of all who use them.
African Library Week 2005 will celebrate the founding principles of libraries,
that they be the repositories of knowledge for future generations while at the
same time making that knowledge accessible to all who need it. Libraries are truly
the "doors to learning and culture" in that they make available all
the knowledge of humankind throughout the history of the world to anyone who seeks
it. The programmes will be supported by a range of sponsored posters and promotional
materials, highlighting reading, information and
libraries. These will be
distributed to libraries and information services
throughout the country to
raise awareness and encourage all communities
to participate in this important
LIASA, through its diverse membership, is driving the process to
make this Week a celebration of the country's intellectual and literary heritage.
The Week is an important date on the national library calendar when all types
of libraries across the country use it as an opportunity to market their services
to their users, the broader community, civil society and decision makers. These
efforts would hopefully contribute to the understanding of the important role
libraries play in a democratic society by making their services available
to the most marginalised in our society, for example, the illiterate, the disabled,
people in under-resourced rural areas, etc.
It is LIASA's vision to celebrate
a truly national library week, one that will embrace all types of libraries and
all kinds of users and potential users.
The Freedom Charter was signed in
Kliptown, Soweto, and therefore the LIASA Executive Committee thought that the
Kliptown Library would be the perfect venue to launch Library Week on 12 March
2005. LIASA will organise the launch in close cooperation with the City of Johannesburg
and the Gauteng Provincial Library Services.
Further details about
the event and Library Week will be distributed early January 2005. For more details
contact the National PRO, Rene Schoombee at