UNIC Pretoria launches 2013 Library Week (18-22 March)

Deputy Director, Helene Hoedl, chats to learners of Fusion High School during a break at the launch of South Africa Library Week, UNIC Library, Pretoria, South Africa, 18 March 2013

Deputy Director, Helene Hoedl, chats to learners of Fusion High School during a break at the launch of South Africa Library Week, UNIC Library, Pretoria, South Africa, 18 March 2013

Pretoria – The UNIC Pretoria Library launched the 2013 Library Week on 18 March 2013 with grade twelve learners from Fusion High School under this year’s theme: “Educate yourself @ your Library”. The focus was to give a basic introduction of UN information/documentation to the learners and at the same time educate them on the role libraries have always played in education, be it a school, academic, public or special library. In the current environment, the public library has, for example, largely fulfilled a school library role to fill the gap left by the lack of school libraries. Apart from the “formal” role that libraries play in this arena, they have also always played an informal role in educating communities.

Learners from the Fusion High School in Pretoria during the Q&A session at the launch of the South Africa Library Week event at the UNIC Library in Pretoria, South Africa, 18 March 2013

Learners from the Fusion High School in Pretoria during the Q&A session at the launch of the South Africa Library Week event at the UNIC Library in Pretoria, South Africa, 18 March 2013

The concept of lifelong learning is one embodied in all libraries especially public and community libraries. The fact that any person, young or old, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, can walk into a library and find information (in both electronic and traditional formats) to educate and enrich themselves, is one of the advantages of libraries. The inclusion of the word “Yourself” also places a responsibility on the individual to empower themselves.

The learners from Fusion High school were welcomed by the UNIC Librarian, Hope Kabamba. Deputy Director, Helene Hoedl took them through an introduction of the UN. The UN4U video was screened to give the learners a broad understanding of what the UN does. UN publications where displayed on each table to showcase the different programmes and reports that the UN produces.

After the presentations learners played a game on “treasure exploration” which was exciting and rewarding as most of the learners who gave the right answers to the questions asked on UN information were rewarded with UN4U t-shirts.

Learners from the Fusion High School in Pretoria at the launch of the South Africa Library Week event at the UNIC Library in Pretoria, South Africa, 18 March 2013

Learners from the Fusion High School in Pretoria at the launch of the South Africa Library Week event at the UNIC Library in Pretoria, South Africa, 18 March 2013

At the end learners were afforded an opportunity to view the books on the library shelves and to ask any questions relating to information in the library collections. This proved fruitful as most learners had a chance to interact freely with the Librarian and the Deputy Director for more table discussion sessions.

The Librarian thanked the learners and their teacher Mr. Masango for making the UNIC Library Week a success. The learners were grateful and expressed interest in volunteering to come and assist at the library during their free time.