Harare City Library, in partnership with two global organisations Book Aid International and the Zimbabwe Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), will be donating 10 000 books to 40 schools throughout Zimbabwe.
It will host the book donation ceremony on March 31 at the Harare City Library premises. As a precursor to the book donation event, library officials on Tuesday invited journalists for lunch and a tour of the library facility.
The Harare City library is a trust which belongs to the residents of Harare and is not run by the city fathers, but jointly by the Justice ministry, Master of High Court and also through the mayor’s office.
The library executive director Joe Muzurura, who is also the library board chairperson, said the upcoming book donation ceremony will be graced by officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as well as a senior official from Book Aid International.
The books were written by authors from the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
However, in order to boost subscriptions and revenues, the library is now offering its facilities for hire, including the conference centre, boardroom and exhibition space. Also on offer is parking space within the library premises.
“Funds for maintaining the library come from people who pay their subscription fees, but those are not enough. We used to get grants from the Ministry of Education, but due to economic challenges they are no longer coming through,” Muzurura said. “We are trying to augment our revenues by putting in tenants, we are also offering space for churches to conduct their services on Sundays at very low rates”.
Muzurura also appealed for donations in material kind such as roofing materials or donations in the form of various services which can assist the library to remain accessible to the marginalised communities and also contribute to development of the space.
The library has kept subscription fees at US$1 a day and US$20 per month or equivalent in RTGS. The Children’s library section is free of charge for those in Grade 1-7.
However, as part of its role to plough back into the community, the library also offers internship facilities for students and trains librarians from various universities from across the country.
Also present at the media function was (IBBY) Zimbabwe Section chairperson Virginia Phiri and her deputy Greenfield Chilongo who took turns to highlight the role of IBBY Zimbabwe Section and their journey of promoting children’s literature which has seen the association partner Book Aid International in distributing the books to targeted schools countrywide.