Sharpeville library gets hi-tech makeover

Pretoria - As the country winds down Human Rights Month celebrations, the Gauteng provincial government continues to forge ahead with its mission to restore dignity and change the lives of its citizens.

On Tuesday, the provincial government launched the third leg of the multimillion Mzansi Libraries On-Line Pilot Project at Nkalimeng Leutsoa Public Library in Sharpeville.

The project is an initiative of the Global Libraries Programme of South Africa, which is funded by the National Libraries South Africa, the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is a R32 million two-year project being piloted at three libraries in Gauteng, providing free new technological resources and training.

The other two sites, which have already implemented the project, are Suurman Library in Tshwane and Wedela Library in Merafong.

The new equipment at the Nkalimeng Leutsoa Library will greatly benefit the community of Sharpeville by providing the community with access to information and resources such as desk top computers, printers, scanners, tablets and free wi-fi.

“As Madiba said, Sharpeville is the nation’s 'cradle of human rights' and it was therefore important that its people are among the first to benefit from such programmes which are intended to contribute towards restoring people’s dignity and providing them with the necessary skills development and access to information,” said Director of Library and Archival Services at the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Koekie Meyer.

Meyer said the project aims to enhance and strengthen library services in Gauteng by developing public libraries into spaces for learning, recreation, socialisation and social cohesion.

The Global Libraries Programme has committed to rollout the project to 44 more libraries across Gauteng over the next three years, with 14 to be completed in the 2016/17 financial year.