• Home
  • /
  • Software
  • /
  • Cape Town libraries get tech, load-shedding buffers

Cape Town libraries get tech, load-shedding buffers

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 27 Feb 2024
Young Capetonians use the Library and Information Service’s computer.
Young Capetonians use the Library and Information Service’s computer.

Cape Town’s Library and Information Service says all of its 102 facilities will offer WiFi access during the 2024/25 financial year.

This comes amid plans to introduce new technology to more of the city’s libraries.

In a statement, the city notes the WiFi footprint of libraries has been steadily expanding, with 90 out of 102 facilities now able to provide patrons with access to online services.

Additionally, the city’s library service is deploying UPS units to help safeguard IT infrastructure and beat the load-shedding woes.

By the end of the 2023/24 financial year, 68 libraries will have these power supplies, ensuring WiFi access during electricity failures, it says.

“One of our goals is to provide access to educational and recreational resources, and keeping our patrons connected ensures we achieve that goal,” says councillor Patricia van der Ross, mayoral committee member for community services and health.

“It is not only about an uninterrupted power supply, but also helping our learners continue their research and providing patrons with access to opportunities,

“Libraries are able to reach patrons beyond their physical locations and we’re able to connect to residents easier and on more platforms.”

According to the statement, as part of additional initiatives, the library service is planning access to the Library Management Software system. “Each library has received a laptop that allows staff to check-in and out library material on the library system during power outages, either offline or online where UPS units are in place.”

Furthermore, e-tablets are being configured and distributed to libraries. “Currently, 32 libraries have each received a set of five. Educational applications and e-books are installed on these devices, aiding in the development of critical literacy and digital literacy skills needed in today’s world. Libraries are using these tablets in their digital literacy and reading programmes throughout the year.”

Van der Ross concludes: “Libraries provide access to a wide variety of information and resources. We’re enabling patrons to not only stay connected at all time, but are helping our younger patrons become skilled in the digital and technology spaces.”