Edith Khuzwayo is a librarian at Murray Park Library.
This married mother of three is dedicated to encouraging the children of her community to read.
“I live in Belgravia and I always tell children to come to the library and read. I started working as a library assistant in 2001,” she said.
She manages the day-to-day running of the library, the literacy development programmes that are open to the community, holds reading and poetry groups, writing sessions and also has a session where she helps children with their schoolwork.
Khuzwayo said it’s very easy to work with residents who make use of the library.
“The community in this area make use of the library. I have a very good working relationship with them. They understand that in the morning until 2pm adults are free to use the library. Those who are studying can also come and study but from 2pm its over because children come here after school wanting to use the library.
“I assist them with homework and I also offer reading clubs, soul buddies and support groups. I started assisting children with their homework and reading as I felt that most children are neglected.
“Children need someone who can assist them after school. Some parents feel that it is the responsibility of the teachers to teach children. It is not. There must always be somebody after school that carries on the duties of a teacher. I urge parents to be hands-on with their children’s education. They must ensure that their children have done their homework and they must assist their children with reading. Reading is very important,” she said.
Khuzwayo is a qualified teacher.
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“I studied at the University of Johannesburg from 1996 to 1998. I was then a teacher at Thaba Jabula Secondary School in Pimville, Soweto. I taught there but I felt that teaching wasn’t a calling for me. It didn’t give me the freedom of helping more people. Teaching only allowed me to help those that I taught in my class.
“I remember when I was still studying to become a teacher, a library was a place where I could feel at peace.
“It became a place of escape from the problems I was facing. I would go to the city library and read. That is when I realised that I belonged at the library. I enrolled for my information science degree with Unisa,” she said.
She said the City of Joburg has been very supportive of the programmes that the library offer.
“We always have reading resources for children and I would like to see more children coming to the library and making use of it,” she said.