The dream of Harare city library to be digitalised and renovated came true last week after the city fathers finally commissioned a company to do the work using $1 million dollars provided by the Swedish Government.
A company called Rio Duoro Contractors won the tender for renovating the Harare City Library.
Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lars Ronnås, who was speaking at an event marking to commission the Harare city library renovations commencement in the capital recently, said he desired to see the library being equipped with modern technologies.
“We think of a library as a place with shelves upon shelves filled with books, and so it should be. However a library which aims to offer information and knowledge cannot confine itself to one kind of media. Today literature is not only presented in the form of printed books. A good book could be found on your Apple screen; in this way a library must make use of the tools that can open the curious reader to the ocean of knowledge. It must respond to modern technology,” he said told delegates attending the event t at the library.
The Harare information hub has leaking roofs which make it difficult for readers to absorb data when it is raining.
Also the building’s toilets are in bad shape.
The library only has hard copies in terms of reading material which make it also difficulty for researchers to get more information which can easily be accessed on line.
The library’s Committee Chairperson Mike Curling said, “The renovation of the building will make it leak proof, the interior will be painted, new flooring installed, its electrical systems reconditioned, and the toilets brought up to standard. Installation of a computer network, furniture and most importantly stocking of new books will be completed by year end”.
Deputy Education Sports Art and Culture Minister, Lazarus Dokora, said the library should be made accessible.
“Libraries are public spaces so we must make sure that the threshold of entry has to be as low as possible otherwise we will have a beautiful building, well-stocked but failing to serve its purpose,” he said.