After more than two years hard work the Thembalethu Library opened on 15th November 2013. It is a large and airy building situated in the grounds of our partner charity Thembalethu, in Nkomazi South Africa. The library holds over 8000 books kindly donated by schools, churches, organisations and individuals in North Somerset. The books, a mixture of adult and children fiction & non fiction, were shipped from the UK and now take up proud residence on handmade shelving in the library.
As the nearest library to this area is a 30 mile round trip, many of the local people have never visited a library and have no idea how to use one. Enter our wonderful librarian, Angel, who is on hand to assist newcomers to the library. She has session plans that she uses for the local school children who visit, and visits local schools to explain who she is and what a librarian does. She also visits local After School Clubs, run by Thembalethu, for orphan and vulnerable children and takes them books, reads them stories and explains how to look after books.
Many of the local High School children come to the library and do their homework, ably assisted by our librarian. The library is also being well used by members of the community, teachers and distance learners who are studying at Thembalethu.
In recent years our library has also gone ‘mobile’ with the purchase of a minibus used to transport both our Zakhele group and librarian to local schools and clinics.