A call to return books

2018-03-22 06:01

Council is calling on library users who have not returned items borrowed from its facilities to return them as soon as possible

According to records, the City of Cape Town’s Library and Information Service has more than 20 000 items, including books, study guides and DVDs that are long overdue.

The top 20 items list contains children’s books such as The Three Little Pigs, Frozen and The Ugly Duckling as well as Grade 12 study guides for subjects like physical science, accounting and geography. The mobile library services are most affected, with nearly 2 500 items that have not been returned.

“Our library service receives and manages material on behalf of the provincial library service,” explained JP Smith, Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security, and Social Services. “When patrons do not return the material, the City is held liable by province for the losses incurred.

“We are in the process of finalising our losses for 2017, and at this stage it appears that more than 20 000 items with an approximate value of R1,8 million have not been returned — and it’s not for lack of trying.”

Smith added that staff are spending hours trying to track down the persons who checked out the items. “Aside from the fact that this is time that could have been spent more productively on direct service delivery, the items not returned also deprive others of the benefit and enjoyment of them,” he said.

“Given the constraints in terms of funding to ensure relevant, adequate and up-to-date collections, this poses a huge challenge to our department.”

Users with overdue books can return them during South African Library Week (Monday 19 to Sunday 24 March) and all penalties for the overdue material will be waived. All City libraries will host a number of exciting events and colourful displays for patrons, young and old, throughout this week.

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