Happy reading as Ashburton Library’s electricity is restored

2017-05-05 14:00
Frequent visitor to the Ashburton Library Denise Alink is one of the many readers happy to see the lights back on at the library.

Frequent visitor to the Ashburton Library Denise Alink is one of the many readers happy to see the lights back on at the library. (Ian Carbutt)

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Avid readers at the Ashburton Library were able to choose their books under proper lighting for the first time in a month on Thursday.

After a month of complaints and queries to Msunduzi Municipality, the electricity was restored at the community library on Thursday.

Frequent visitors to the library were thrust into the dark ages as they were given gas lamps and torches when they entered so they could see what books they wanted to borrow.

They also had to chuck their barcoded library cards into their bags while librarians were forced to use the outdated method of date-stamping books.

“The scanners were not working so we had to go back go to the old times and have our cards retained until we returned the books. It was funny at first but after a month of struggling, we are happy that the power has returned,” said one of the library’s regulars, Denise Alink.

Alink said although the library was experiencing such difficulties, the “friendly and helpful” staff kept them coming back.

“The staff here are exceptional and know all their visitors so well. They were really in a tough spot having no power but they kept the doors opened here and went over and above [the call of duty] to help us,” she said.

Alink said the community library was also the sole source of information for a nearby under-privileged primary school.

The Ashburton Library, like most residents in Ashburton, pays for electricity usage directly to Eskom.

Alink said she believed the municipality may not have paid the library’s electricity bill so the building was disconnected.

Queries to confirm this allegation with Msunduzi Municipality were not answered by the time of going to print on Thursday.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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