Entertaining guests with song and dance, Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre library celebrated their 20th anniversary on Wednesday February 22.
Proud residents described the library as “a house away from home”.
Guests, who were treated to lunch and were able to socialise, included members from the
seniors’ clubs, diabetes support group, Friends of the library, and other organisations.
Showcasing their talents, the Ubuntu dancers from the Thusong Centre sang and danced.
Maggie Vilette from the Local Community Support Group said the library staff has a heart of gold and often goes the extra mile for patrons.
“It is amazing to see how the staff of the library supports and takes care of our community. They always have an open door policy for the kids, and on many occasions they feed them out of their own pockets, especially during the holiday programmes.
“They also assist the homeless people who enter the library, because they understand the struggles of the people. Well, let us not forget if you are short on taxi fare, they are always willing to help out,” she said with a smile.
MC for the event, librarian Hadjira Sydow, said the library offers a range of services, such as lending out materials, internet access, story-telling, gatherings for older residents and literary competitions.
Eastridge resident and accomplished crafter, Mark Jeneker, who volunteers his services by hosting arts and crafts classes at the library and at Yellowwood Primary School, in Tafelsig, said being at the facility has changed his life.
The former gangster now teaches more than 40 children a day at the library.
“I feel like I am part of a family when I am in the library. The staff has motivated, and encouraged me over the past few years and for that I am very thankful. If you walk into the library my work is on display and the children with eager faces bring me great joy. “If a library like this can change my life, what can it do for you. There are so many books and materials to learn from and people to network with – it is awesome,” he said.
One of Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre library’s oldest patrons, Alma Wyngaard, 89, from Beacon Valley, said she enjoys visiting the space.
She walks to the library once a week, for books and to relax.
“I come to the library to get some new craft patterns, read the newspapers and to relax because it’s so quiet. I love this library, because it is warm-hearted and the staff are always friendly and make you feel welcome,” she said.
Principal librarian Charl September thanked everyone for supporting and working with the library over the past 20 years.
“I have been here for nine months and I have met so many different people, who really care about the community. This belongs to residents, and it is wonderful to see how they take ownership of it. Before I arrived the library had gone through changes, and it looks really attractive. From now onwards, we can only look forward, think positive and improve our library with community involvement,” he said.