New li­brary serves three univer­si­ties

Go! & Express - - NEWS - SIPHOKAZI VUSO

The Phyl­lis Ntan­tala Col­lab­o­ra­tive Li­brary, which will cater for ap­prox­i­mately 18,000 stu­dents from Wal­ter Sisulu and Fort Hare univer­si­ties as well as Unisa, was of­fi­cially opened on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 20.

The launch was at­tended by min­is­ter of higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing Naledi Pan­dor, who also cut the rib­bon.

Pan­dor, whose de­part­ment con­trib­uted more than half of the fund­ing to the project through the In­fra­struc­ture Ef­fi­ciency Grant, said main­te­nance was the most vi­tal in­ter­ven­tion in pre­serv­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

“Fa­cil­i­ties are pre­ma­turely reach­ing the end of their use­ful lives. It is im­por­tant that when new fa­cil­i­ties are built, life-cy­cle costs are taken into ac­count. Equally, th­ese three univer­si­ties must en­sure that this col­lab­o­ra­tive li­brary is reg­u­larly main­tained,” she said.

Pres­i­dent of the South African Union of Stu­dents (SAUS), Misheck Mu­gabe, also called on stu­dents from the univer­si­ties to pro­tect and main­tain the li­brary.

“We are very happy that the col­lab­o­ra­tive project gave birth to a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity.

“It is the stu­dents who will ben­e­fit from this li­brary, hence we urge all to pro­tect it and not burn it so that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions can also use it,” he said.

WSU spokesper­son Yonela Tuk­wayo said the li­brary would sup­port teach­ing, learn­ing and re­search for in­sti­tu­tions within the East Lon­don area, and the prov­ince at large.

Tuk­wayo said the new li­brary was “en­vis­aged to have a ca­pac­ity to deal with the vol­ume of stu­dents from all three univer­si­ties, and to be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to stu­dents and staff.

“The li­brary will be the cus­to­dian of books, a show­case for new in­for­ma­tion, a place for thought, dis­cus­sion and re­flec­tion and will in­clude book col­lec­tions, e-re­sources, a mul­ti­me­dia cen­tre, read­ing and study space, as well as ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices,” she said.

WSU vice-chan­cel­lor pro­fes­sor Rob Mid­g­ley said the new fa­cil­ity was the ful­fill­ment of a dream.

“This state-of-the-art, up-tospeed, modern and pro­gres­sive plat­form can ben­e­fit the staff and stu­dents of all th­ese in­sti­tu­tions and it is im­per­a­tive that th­ese three univer­si­ties col­lab­o­rate and share re­sources wher­ever pos­si­ble,” he said.

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