Librarian has big plans for continent

2015-06-25 06:01
                                                                         PHOTO: Jonathan Burton
Mandla Ntombela has been named president elect of Libraries and Information Association in SA and the chairperson for Public and Community Libraries and

PHOTO: Jonathan Burton Mandla Ntombela has been named president elect of Libraries and Information Association in SA and the chairperson for Public and Community Libraries and

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HE never wanted to be a librarian­, but ultimately it became his “calling”.

Now the director of Bessie Head Library, Mandla Ntombela, has been named the chairperson for Public and Community Libraries in Africa and the president elect of the Library and Information Association in South Africa.

His new leadership roles were announced during the African Library and Information Association (Aflia) conference in Ghana at the beginning of June.

“All I wanted to do was write books, but I didn’t have the skill to write.

“So I thought I would study something that would teach me to understand books and how to eventually write,” said Ntombela.

While studying towards his diploma in library and information science, he started “loving” information about libraries.

Ntombela furthered his studies in libraries and now holds a Masters degree in library and information.

He will be looking at transforming libraries across the continent to digital-friendly zones.

Another aspect of his new leadership role is finding ways to draw the youth to libraries.

“I will be focusing on uplifting the standards of libraries on the continent and in the country.

“We need to find out if our libraries are speaking to the needs of the people and find ways to advance them technologically­,” he said.

Ntombela, with more than 13 years’ experience under his belt, says motivational books by authors such as Dr Myles Monroe and John Maxwell gave him the opportunity to shape his life to provide the best library experience for all

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