GEORGE NEWS - George Library users proved that libraries are the heart of their communities on Mandela Day - while one user revamped the library's public toilets, another typed CVs for job seekers on a library computer.
Regular library user Danielle van Jaarsveld said she often used the bathroom facilities when she visited the library and thought it was time for a facelift.
"While the toilets are clean and there is always toilet paper, there were scribbles on the cubicle doors and I thought a fresh coat of paint could make a big difference," she said.
After a chat with librarian Elmine Vorster, Danielle offered to give the women's toilet a revamp and roped in Paintsmiths, Kleeftaal and Prime Cleaning Solutions to donate paint, wall stickers and liquid soap for the soap dispensers. The walls and doors got a fresh coat of paint and Danielle applied text wall stickers with the message 'You are beautiful, you are fearfully and wonderfully made' (a Biblical quote).
Because the toilets are public, the back side of the cubicle doors are particularly vulnerable to graffiti and scribbles, but Danielle promised to keep a close eye. "I challenge other library users or businesses to 'adopt' the men's bathrooms so that they too can get a makeover. The library plays a vital role in our community and everyone benefits if facilities are welcoming," she said.
Job seekers Franklin Roelf of Pacaltsdorp and Ronaldo Jantjies from Rosemoor had knocked on the doors of the George Library in the hope of finding someone who could help them type their CVs. Another regular George Library visitor, André van Wyk, volunteered for the job. He met the men at the library, typed up and helped compiling their CVs. "It is my bit for Mandela Day and these guys may get work as a result of it, which may help other people for much longer than the time I spent here today," said Van Wyk.
George Head of Libraries Rachel Williams thanked Van Jaarsveld and Van Wyk for their contributions to Mandela Day and their community. "Our hearts are warmed by our community's generosity. Libraries are much more than places for lending books and these people are proving just that," said Williams.
"Libraries have become spaces where children can do their homework, students can study and people can come to use resources such as photocopy machines and computers. People from very different communities come here every day and by doing things for the library and their fellow library users, they contribute to the lives of people unseen - in this way libraries become a connecting point, refuge and resource that can make a significant positive impact on lives beyond what we may ever know."
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