30 March 2017, Pretoria – UNIC Pretoria Library marked the National South African Library Week with a couple of activities in the UNIC Library with library users and learners from the Tshwane Leadership Foundation.
Over 25 learners aged 6 to 15 years old from the Tshwane Leadership Foundation participated in the activities at the UNIC Library to mark the National Library Week. The event focused on sharing the work of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by member states of the UN in late 2015. One learner said: “the SDGs teach us about education, life, suffering and saving electricity”.
As part of the activities, the learners viewed two short videos that explained the goals and the importance of the role that each person can play in order to evoke positive change in the world. In celebrating library week and promoting literacy which is in line with the SDGs, children walked away with a number of books donated by the UNIC library. The visit forms part of the celebrations across South Africa to observe National Library Week under the theme “My Library, Your Library” which aims to increase awareness of the significance of libraries in our various communities.
The National South African Library Week coincided with the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Human Rights Day in South Africa. This was an opportunity for UNIC to share the history of slave trade and raise awareness about the dangers of of increasing inequalities.
As part of the Library Week activities, the UNIC Library also staged Exhibitions on Slavery and the history of Human Rights Day in South Africa based on the Sharpeville Massacre. This was to emphasis the role of the United Nations in the abolition of slavery and restoration of human rights and dignity to all the victims of slavery. The exhibitions had a memorable and positive impact on library users especially the youth as they gained more insight about these historical events. The exhibition was also aimed at shifting the perception of the library users about race and cultural diversity with the purpose of promoting the idea of coexistence in diverse societies with more tolerance.
UNIC Pretoria also used this opportunity to further engage with users of the library to provide feedback on the services that the library offers on a daily basis as well as their thoughts on the resources available to the diverse audience.