By Gwyneth Parry- Senior Librarian, Weltevreden Park Library
‘Tell us your story. What does this library mean to you?’ The staff of the Weltevreden Park Public Library put this question to their library users during Library Week 2023. The public were encouraged to write stories explaining the impact the Weltevreden Park Library has had on them. These notes were then posted on a notice board in the foyer for all to see. The theme for the 2023 South African Library Week was, Libraries: telling powerful stories. Libraries have many impactful stories to tell, and these stories can be instrumental in spreading the word on the importance of libraries.
A few of the many comments/stories posted at the Welteveden Park Library included :
“ I love this library, the staff are extremely welcoming and the choice of books is superb”
“Weltevreden Park Library is an invaluable resource for the community. It is a place where you can come to learn, explore and connect with the Weltevreden Park community.”
“The library is a place where my children can get lost in the magic of books.”
“The Weltevreden Park Library is my happy place. There is always excellent service and a great gateway to knowledge and culture.”
“Weltevreden Library is a quiet and peaceful oasis in the midst of our busy lives”
“ Weltevreden is such a warm and friendly library. The staff – Wow! So friendly and always willing to help.”
Weltevreden Park Library is one of the best libraries in JHB. The staff are super friendly and the selection of books is amazing”
The staff were very gratified to see these stories emanating from their users and this has motivated them to continue providing service of excellence.
Libraries do remain relevant within today’s society. They provide quiet study spaces, free books, programs for the community and wi-fi, accessible to all. Libraries need to continue ensuring that stories are being written about them, through on-going community engagement and outreach. The more the word is spread about libraries, the more they will be used. Local communities must become aware of these havens of information, leisure and community engagement.
Libraries: places where powerful stories are told.