Understanding Library Services

Library Services is responsible for improving public library access to all communities. This is done by developing and sustaining a culture of reading and the provision of access to information of all throughout and province of Kwazulu-Natal.

The unit provides library services support to affiliated public libraries that includes local modular libraries and permanent structures made of bricks and mortar. This affiliation forms the basis of a cooperative partnership between provincial and local government, each contributing to providing library services to communities to ensure that the information and recreational needs of all people is fulfilled.

The service consists of central Head Office in Pietermaritzburg and Regional Library Depots Based in Pietermaritzburg (Southern), Dundee (Western), Pinetown (Eastern) and Mbazwane (Northern).

Library Services

Central Reference Services; – A large comprehensive collection of non-fiction books, reference works, periodicals, classic fiction foreign language books and a limited collection of tertiary textbooks is housed in the central reference library at the Provincial Library Service’s head office in Pietermaritzburg.

The Central Reference Library also has an inter-leading section Which can acquire material not available in public libraries (KZNPLIS) Stock on inter library loan from other libraries in South Africa.

Lending Services: – provides access to a wide range of books, CD’s, DVDs and audio books to registered members. A library membership card is issued on registration with local library. You need to take your ID book and fill out a form to apply for a library card. Online catalogues of library materials are also available.

Outreach Services: – is to develop interest of using library Services to the community. The programme provides a unique opportunity to improve public image within a service community and offers excellent collaboration opportunities with community leaders, groups and organisations that will enhance overall use and access of library services.

Library Services for the Visually Impaired: – Creates an enhance access to library and information services for the visually impaired community members. These services are available in selected libraries. The services consist of the provision of digital readers to use e-books as well as computers with special software for use by visually impaired persons.

Library Facilities

Study Facilities: – public libraries across KwaZulu Natal have Study areas which members of the public can use for study purposes in groups or individually.

Free Internet facilities: – internet access for public usage is available without a charge. Users may only be charged for printing. The computers are for use of the community members of all ages.

Toys Facility: – To Libraries within libraries are situated close to early childhood development centers to support the development of literacy and numeracy skills. The aim of this project is to allow young children organised access to a collection of educational toys in order to stimulate the development of the different abilities at the appropriate stages. This stimulation will also promote the acquisition of reading skills that would contribute eventually to the establishment of a lifelong reading culture.

Programmes & Calender

Reading Programme: – Public Libraries in KwaZulu-Natal provide programmes to promote a culture of reading which is accessible for communities in the libraries. The programme also improves children’s functional reading skills.

Library week: – is celebrated during the last week of March. During this week the range of services, programmes and projects are available at libraries.

World Book Day: – is celebrated on the 23rd April of every year, to create awareness on the importance of reading and writing.

National Book Week: – is observed in the beginning of September each year. This annual campaign is aimed at creating an interest in reading through fun activities related to reading and books.

International Literacy Day: – is annually celebrated world-wide in September as part of efforts to promote the culture of reading and writing.