National Book Week has started with some positive news from the Cape, as Cape Town’s libraries celebrate a big increase in collective members!
South Africa (06 September 2023) — Kickstarting National Book Week with some positive news, Cape Town libraries have collectively seen a wealth of new members over the past year.
Per the City of Cape Town’s Libraries and Information Service report, compared to the 2021/22 financial year, new library members have increased by 38.6% for the 2022/23 run.
“The statistics are a wonderful reminder of just how important our libraries are, and their evolution over time to keep pace with a world that is becoming more digital by the day. I tip my hat to our wonderful staff members who are key drivers of our success, but also the thousands of community members who find value in the services on offer.
“The continued innovation and efforts to ensure that libraries remain relevant in our world today is something to admire, particularly because it does not come without its challenges,” said Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.
Given that it is National Book Week (5-11 September), the data indicates a great chapter not just for Cape Town bookworms, but for libraries in a digitalised world.
In addition, if the pushback to keep two libraries (Plumstead and Tygervalley) open amid a looming closure due to the pandemic is anything to go by, for many communities in Cape Town, tangible centres of access to a world of pages still have their place and are still all-important havens for people who don’t have access to e-book apt tech or simply enjoy the physical connection made when trimming through pages.
Beyond supporting your local library by becoming a member, you can also get involved in National Book Week in other ways, in Cape Town and beyond.
If you can’t donate books or time, support local authors by heading to your nearest bookstore to see what’s happening in the local literary scene, or check out the National Library of South Africa’s online collection.
If digital and tangible book-loving can live in the same world peacefully, public gems can be supported as can authors and a culture of literacy—which makes for a stronger South Africa.