A SALB Volunteer Appreciation Award ceremony was held on the 31 August 2016 at the premises of the South African Library for the Blind, Grahamstown.
The event was planned by the Audio Production section of SALB to say thanks and to hand over awards to all the volunteers who so unselfishly volunteered their time and services to the library throughout the years.
The proceedings started promptly at 10 o’clock with an Introduction by Ms. P. Mahanjana. Ms. Mahanjana, who is the Senior Manager Production Services here at SALB, also introduced the director of the library; the SALB management team as well as the Audio production team to the guests and volunteers.
The SALB director, Mr. Francois Hendrikz, did the welcoming and opening, followed by a brief emphasises of the important contribution made by our valuable volunteer narrators in developing our book collections.
Mr. Hendrikz special mentioned and acknowledged the fact that one specific volunteer narrator, Mr. Vink Roux, narrated over than 400 audio books for the library. Mr. Roux, who has stopped narration for SALB due to ill health, was not present at the event. About 2 weeks prior to the event, the director, together with 2 other SALB staff members, went to visit Mr. Roux, to acknowledge and to hand over an award for his valuable efforts.
Mr. Hendrikz also mentioned the fact that one of the Library of Congress narrator, who started narrating for the Library of Congress during the seventies, has narrated more than 1000 books. Mr. Hendrikz joked that this must be the set yardstick for our narrators. Mr. Hendrikz was of the view that we can also do it here at SALB.
The time that everyone has been waiting for finally arrived. Audio Production Supervisors: Mr. Thembile Gxekwa together with Ms. Charlene Prince, called up the names of the recipients, while Audio Production Manager: Mr Melton Kivitts, gave a brief narrative description of when the recipient started narrating books for SALB as well as how many books he/ she narrated so far.
Mr Hendrikz handed over the awards to the deserving recipients. One could sense that the narrators were very happy and also surprised by the gesture shown by SALB.
Some of the awards went to:
Ms. Nomthandazo Charles who started reading Xhosa books for the library since 2010 and also helped out with recording audio magazines for SALB
Mr. John Judd, drove all the way from Port Elizabeth to receive his award. He started narrating for SALB way back in 1996. He has narrated 75 audio books for SALB so far.
Ms. Vivian Botha, started narrating for SALB in 2014. He has narrated 10 audio books for SALB so far.
Ms. Michelle Vermeulen started narrating for SALB in 2008. She has narrated 11 audio books for SALB so far and is a also reading Afrikaans magazines for SALB
Ms. Colleen Wagner started narrating for SALB in 2014. She has narrated 18 audio books for SALB so far.
Ms. Caryl Oosthuizen started narrating for SALB in 1997. She has narrated 33 audio books for SALB so far.
Ms. Jennifer Haswell started narrating for SALB in 2010. She has narrated a whopping 107 audio books for SALB so far. She also assists by narrating audio magazines for the library
Ms. Jane Osborne started narrating for SALB in 2001. She has narrated a whopping 203 audio books for SALB so far. She also assists by narrating audio magazines for the library
Two special awards went to 2 staff members of the Audio production section for working as well as narrating books/ magazines for SALB. These 2 awards went to Nomfuneko Melitafa and Charlene Prince
The award ceremony followed by a brief hands on demonstration/exhibition by the Audio and Braille Sections on how the valuable work done by the audio and Braille volunteers, falls into the bigger picture of the services rendered by SALB to its members.
The well planned event, ended with a finger lunch followed by the closing and thanks note done by Ms. Pumla Mahanjana.