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On Tuesday, 19 March 2019, the University of Venda (Univen) Library officially launched the South African Library Week (SALW) to create awareness of the importance of collaboration and partnerships between libraries for information sharing in order to enhance information experience for students and community members around Thohoyandou. The 2019 SALW was celebrated at the Library Foyer under the theme ‘Collaborate at your Library’. 

The Keynote speaker, Prof Peter Tshisikhawe spoke about the role of the Library in advancing development within communities. He said, “Library week is a call by libraries to say here we are, come and use us.” The library is calling everyone to collaborate and partner in advancing development by sharing innovative ideas. 

Prof Tshisikhawe advised the audience that there is a need to take one step at a time because development is a process. “It doesn’t happen over-night.” He also advised library staff members that communities expect high quality service and in pursuit of rendering such service, each community requires a librarian. “Univen library has librarians that comprise subject librarians to assist us to keep up to speed with what’s happening around the world”, he said. He told the audience 

that every country needs to be developed. “For us to contribute to development, we must read latest information”, He said. 

He also spoke about the 4th industrial revolution that is a rapid massive change that will lead to the fundamental transformation of society. He encouraged the audience to be role players in the 4th industrial revolution instead of being spectators. “We have to prepare and re-skill ourselves for the 4th industrial revolution because jobs will be lost, remaining jobs will require re-skilling and new jobs might be created because of digitization. Soon libraries will make use of robots to do various jobs”. He encouraged people to be friends of the library in order to access relevant information in advancing development. 

When presenting the purpose of the day message, Ms Annah Matodzi, said Library Week is celebrated internationally by librarians and people who use those libraries. She said that this is all about rights and one of them is in the bill of rights. ‘Everyone has the right to information.’ She told students to feel free to come to access information at our library. “Libraries collaborate, they work together. We work together to help students who need information. Public libraries also assist learners with their homework”, she said. 

Mr Patrick Bopape from Limpopo Library and Information Service spoke about the importance of collaboration. In his word of support, Mr Bopape spoke about libraries in Thulamela municipality and its surroundings including the one on campus. He said their main function is to bring information to the people. Provide people with skills through technology with the aim of instilling entrepreneurship and job creation. He said libraries are a source of information even for the disabled students/visually impaired. “We have initiated a job readiness centre in the disadvantaged rural communities. They teach people on how to apply for jobs. Bopape explained that the job readiness centre has already assisted a lot of people since its inception. 

Ms Dimpho Mashile, Univen masters’ student gave a word of motivation. She said the library assisted her and is still assisting her in her studies because she cannot afford prescribed books, instead she uses books that are available in the Library. She said for people who are willing to learn, the University Library is always open to offer assistance where possible. She advised the audience to refrain from burning libraries. “Preserve books and take care of libraries for the coming generations.” 

Mr Zwivhuya Netshivhambe who is also a Univen student rendered a motivational talk. He said people should ask themselves the question: “what is it that they can offer the library”. He further said the youth should read in order to keep themselves updated with what is happening globally. 

Muano Nonge from Marude Secondary School rendering a poem 

Dr Nkhangweni Patricia Mahwasane welcoming guests 

Ms Azola Tracy Bangani gave a vote of thanks 

Ms Tintswalo Pascalis Tlakula directing the programme 

University Choir entertaining the audience during the Official Opening of Library Week 

Some of the learners from Marude Secondary School who attended the official opening of the Library week 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 
Date: 26 March 2019 

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