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20,000 library items overdue, but Cape Town decides not to throw book at borrowers

Bellville Library is among the Cape Town libraries where 20,000 items are overdue.
Bellville Library is among the Cape Town libraries where 20,000 items are overdue.
Image: Supplied

The City of Cape Town is appealing to the public to return more than 20,000 overdue library items. 

Topping the list are fairy tales and mathematical literacy study guides for grade 12. The city has waived fines on the items to encourage people to return them to its 102 libraries.

Zahid Badroodien, the mayoral committee member for community services and health, said the value of the outstanding material is more than R1.8m.

“The pandemic and different lockdown levels have meant our libraries were not always open and patrons could not access the facilities freely,” he said.

“I want to encourage patrons to return any items they may have that are overdue. The value of the outstanding material is a whopping R1,848,739.

“These are items which can bring information and relaxation to many others, so I urge patrons to visit their nearest library during this week.”

Badroodien said the most common overdue items include Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Double Down, Alice in Wonderland, Jack and the Beanstalk and grade 12 study guides, notes and worked examples, questions per topic and detailed answers with explanations.

“I’m glad parents are reading to their children or the younger patrons are so excited about reading. However, we want many more of our patrons to enjoy these magical fairy tales,” Badroodien said.  

“Study materials are in high demand, especially this time of year and I want to urge students and learners to return items so as many as possible can access it. Our libraries are for everyone and we have limited resources to replace any lost items.”

National Book Week starts next week as a joint initiative of the SA  Book Development Council and the department of arts & culture. It coincides with International Literacy Day on September 8.

“Every initiative which encourages reading and its value as a fun and pleasurable activity is important. We often extol the benefits of reading and it can easily become a part of your daily life. Read as much as you can, read to your children and encourage them to read widely. Start by visiting your library today,” said Badroodien.

Badroodien said all city libraries are open and patrons are reminded that Covid-19 hygiene protocols will be enforced.

“Patrons are requested to wear masks and social distance while inside libraries,” said Badroodien.