City librarian scoops top scholarship

2008-05-14 00:00

Msunduzi Municipal librarian Balungile “Sonto” Moleme beat stiff competition to become one of only 17 out of 170 applicants countrywide to win a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to the United States this year.

Moleme, who heads the adult lending section in the library, will be based in Pittsburgh, where she will do a Masters degree in Library and Information Science. Director of the Msunduzi Library John Morrison is ecstatic, saying Moleme was a most deserving candidate who has true leadership qualities.

He said that the city will benefit tremendously from her studies as she is one of the few librarians au fait with information and communication technologies. Moleme worked in the computer section for the KZN Provincial Library Service before moving to the Msunduzi Library.

Moleme says her studies will introduce her to the latest developments in these fields, a scarce skill in South Africa that she will then be able to use on her return. The Msunduzi Library will be spending millions of rands on computers and other sophisticated IT equipment, thanks to a grant it will be receiving from the Carnegie Corporation.

Born in Bulwer, Moleme matriculated from Georgetown High School in Edendale and studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She graduated with a BA degree, a post-graduate diploma in Library and Information Science and an Honours degree in Sociology. She started off her working career as a librarian at Greys Hospital and also worked at the Mangosuthu Technikon in Durban.

She says she has mixed feelings about the trip. “On the one level I feel honoured and on the other hand I’m a bit nervous about the travelling.”

However, she adds that the gruelling selection procedure was more than adequate preparation for her year overseas, which starts next month.

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