With matric exams already under way and other grades following suit soon, the City of Cape Town’s libraries offer learners and students a safe space to study, conduct research and learn. Read more below:
‘Libraries provide free access to educational materials and resources to many who would otherwise be unable to afford them. These facilities offer learners a place to continue and complete the learning process and, for many of our young people, it’s the only quiet or safe space to study,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
‘The City’s libraries are there to serve everyone and complement the work done at schools and tertiary institutions. For many learners, the situation in their home or neighbourhood is not conducive to study, in addition to challenges like gaining access to online study material.
‘In some areas, the library is not only the safest space but also the one place where it is quiet enough to allow for study and knowledge retention,’ said Alderman Smith.
Through the SmartCape initiative, which provides free internet access to all library users, members of the City’s libraries can access all Britannica resources and, should they require, they can have unlimited access to the service from any internet-enabled phone or other device for registered library users.
This means that children and students will have access to factually sound information that is updated on a regular basis, and which will be available to them at any time of day at their leisure. Content on the site is tailored according to the educational level of the user and the service also supports those for whom English is an additional language.
This service is another effort by the City to provide digital access to educational and other resources.
The City’s libraries also offer the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), which is available remotely via the Internet and will save readers time when looking for library materials. It can also be accessed inside the library.
A single search returns results from the entire collection, including different formats of material such as books, CDs, magazines, etc. and shows material availability across the libraries in the city.
The search can be streamlined to indicate only a library of interest, or a search can be conducted for particular titles, authors, DVDs or even by subject.
Library patrons can also view and renew items on loan to them, except when an item has been reserved by another patron. DVDs and study material may not be renewed.
There is some work still being done on the new Library Management System. In the near future, students will be able to create booklists which they can email. They will also be able to view book synopses, author biographies and more.
Five of the City’s libraries are closed for proactive maintenance. Four will reopen in December with the last one reopening in January.
The affected libraries are Fish Hoek, Kraaifontein, PDPaulse in Kuils River, Scottsdene and Goodwood.
‘The money spent on these facilities is an investment into the education and empowerment of communities. Libraries serve to culturally enrich the areas they are in and serve as a vital resource and access to information,’ said Alderman Smith.
Source: City of Cape Town