“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”
Celebrating International Literacy Day, the Durban University of Technology library is giving away books to students.
This day is celebrated annually in various countries on the 8th of September. It is aimed at encouraging the culture of reading and serves as a reminder that literacy is a human right.
ILD was officially declared in 1966 during the 14th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) General Conference but was only celebrated the following year for the first time in 1967 and every year since then.
Described by UNESCO as “An opportunity for governments and civil society to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.”
The theme for this year was ‘Literacy in a Digital World’.
Over the years studies have revealed that the percentage of people who read has further declined and schools and universities are trying to make reading fun and popular again.
City Campus Librarian, Nozipho Majola explains how they have started a project that encourages a culture of reading because they have discovered that students don’t read.
“Even with assignments they copy and paste so we felt that it is our responsibility as a library to celebrate and have displays like these that will remind students to read,” said Majola.
Majola also says as the library they are considering conducting a survey to find out what makes students to not read.
A second-year journalism student, Minenhle Khazi says that the habit of reading will survive the digital age even though she is one of the few people who still own an eThekwini Municipality library card.
“I don’t just like reading. I love it. I love to read because firstly because I am curious, I like learning new things. Secondly, reading is an escape from the real world for me.”
Khazi explains that it is hard to get people to read when they don’t like to.
“We live in an age where books come in audio form now but still people don’t go out there to seek knowledge,” she said.
Picture: Mandisa Magubane