DATE: 6TH APRIL | VENUE: THULAMELA PUBLIC LIBRARY | LIMPOPO
The joint project will see the provision of assistive technologies, reading material and other facilities at identified public libraries across the country.
The blind and visually impaired were in high spirits when the South African Library for the Blind recently launched a Mini Library designed for the blind at Thulamela. Blind residents at Thulamela in LImpopo now have access to free reading material specially designed for them.
The facility is part of the 28 new Mini-Libraries for the bind launched countrywide. The launch is an initiative of National Libraries South Africa (NLSA) and the South African Library for the Blind (SALB) who together formed the Mzansi Mini-Library Project, to ensure all blind and visually impaired people across SA have access to their reading material free of charge.
The launch was officiated by Mr Collins Thovhakale, director of library services in Limpopo, Francois Hendrikz, CEO of the South African Library for the Blind and Dr Maisel Maepa, executive director, core programmes of the National Library of Africa.
Among the blind and other stakeholders who attended was Bele Netshiheni, who became blind in 2012. She expressed her appreciation towards the library and encouraged those who attended not to give up on life because of their disability. “I’d been a teacher for 23 years when my world fell apart in 2012,” she said. “My marriage broke up and I spent a lot of time lamenting about my life. I finally accepted my situation and told myself I should stand up and do something. This new section of the library has helped me a lot. As I speak now, my masters research proposal has been approved by the senate at the University of Venda.”
Maepa said there was still a long way to go in making libraries friendlier for people with disabilities. He said he was excited because of the positive feedback from users of the Mini-Library. “We urge you to spread the good news about the new services and resources at the library. And guard jealously against vandalism of these valuable resources” said Maepa.