National Library introduces fee
The National Library Services (NLS) says it will introduce a fee on by readers patronising its libraries effective July this year.
NLS chief executive officer, Gray Nyali, made the remarks in Mzuzu during the opening of a four-day training course for coordinators of open doors children corners in its libraries.
Nyali said the fee will be introduced following the public reforms programme as one way of enabling the library offer improved services.
“Our libraries are surrounded by private universities and these students come to the library every morning. The libraries are now operating just like academic [institutions’] libraries. We need to improve the services in our libraries, that is why we have come up with a small fee as part of cost sharing not for profit [making],” Nyali said.
He said the money realised will be used to purchase things like air conditioners, books, newspapers as well as internet facilities.
“We need to start learning that we can contribute a little amount. We will not lock out the poor. Maybe the fear is how the poor will manage; the library will make sure that everyone has access to the libraries. The cost-sharing fee is different from the membership fee because members are allowed to take the book home, while users who have paid the cost-sharing fee will pay for just using the book in the library,” he added.
He also said NLS, as a regulator of libraries in the country, will make sure that libraries in the country adhere to standards so that readers enjoy the services.
On the training, NLS readers service librarian and projects manager, Khumbo Ng’ong’ola said it is aimed at furnishing the coordinators with knowledge on how to handle children readers so that the spirit of reading can be implanted in them.
The training is the second phase targeting coordinators from Mzuzu, Karonga, Nkhotakota, Mulanje and Lilongwe’s Area 36. The first phase targeted Blantyre, Monkey Bay, Lilongwe Headquarters, Kasungu and Balaka libraries.
These libraries have children’s corner with assistance from Book Aid International organisation.
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