South African Library Week 2005

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.

South 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 week.

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 that
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 rschoombe@rtbcc.co.za.





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