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The Library Sector
Vic Lopich

The library situation nationally is somewhat unclear but there are funds allocated to library services. The Conditional Grant has been reduced from R 1.48 billion to R1.17 billion. Provincial and municipal apportionment towards library purchase will be decided at a later time. In general libraries are struggling with creating protocols that enable them to open and begin servicing their communities but the situation continues to unfold.

Provincial libraries in the Free State, Gauteng, Northwest and Limpopo and the Mangaung, eThekwini and City of Joburg libraries are closed.

Some Provincial, Municipal and University libraries that are closed have been responsive to emails as staff are working from home.

There have been several libraries making enquiries regarding purchasing and the creation of supplier databases so although there is not a lot happening right now it would seem that libraries are slowly coming back to life.

The full impact of reduced budgets around the country will only become clear once libraries start to open and staff are back in their offices.

The novel coronavirus has created an almost sci-fi-sounding scenario that books are put in quarantine before being put back on the shelves for other readers …

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