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South Africa: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Supported the National Library of South Africa with a Grant of R32 Million
Source: Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture
Source Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Mar 20, 2014

This pilot project is in line with the DAC’s mandate and is a precursor to a national country grant that is intended to strengthen and enhance current public library services. 27 libraries across the country are the immediate recipients. They are being equipped to provide full internet access, and are stocked with a wide range of books, including those written in indigenous languages. The libraries are also being set up for research. "Each library will receive ICT hardware which includes 20 computers, 10 e-readers, 10 tablets, free software from Microsoft as well as licences," said acting National Librarian Rachel More.
Three libraries had been identified as beneficiaries for the programme in each province, and the criteria included one library that had been built but had no equipment, and rural and peri-urban libraries which, once equipped, would benefit students in surrounding communities.
This programme also involves the training of staff and tapping into the needs of the community. Ujala Satgoor, from Library and Information SA, a partner in the programme, explained that the pilot period will be used to discover the needs of the community and how they can realistically adapt to them.
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