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Calls for more African literature to be made available in JHB libraries

The Auwal Research Institute says 50 percent of African literature must be offered in libraries.

Picture: freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute is pushing for more African literature to be made available in Johannesburg libraries in its attempts to have council adopt a new set of by-laws before the next municipal elections.

In an unprecedented move, the organisation is currently getting signatures in order to lobby council to consider adopting both its petition and library by-laws.

The NGO has detailed its proposed legislation in an online petition that will see to it that 50 percent of library materials are African.

#DecoloniseLibraries PETITION. https://t.co/VfMTp847L9 Please share.



It has also requested the following reforms be adopted:

  • Each library should have a Community Library Forum

  • The City of Johannesburg libraries must have a stand-alone website with online catalogue

  • A library in every ward that meets minimum standards, to overcome the apartheid legacy

  • E-book borrowing facilities

  • Five percent of city budget going to libraries

Executive director Muhammad Cajee says "This isn't new government policy; in 2012, former Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile said that there should be a library in every ward so that is not new."

Cajee says there is a team on the ground which has gathered just over 2,000 signatures so far.

The petition will be handed over to the city next week.

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