Laverne Sanderson, Librarian: “I love the interaction with people and helping them find what they are looking for.”
Laverne has worked at the White River Library for 20 years and remains enthusiastic about reading, words and books. Printed paper rather than electronic because as she says, “There’s nothing like the smell of a book in your hands.” Spoken like a true bibliophile.
She glows when speaking about her staff, the books and working at the library, but frustration crinkles her brow when the conversation moves to the annual budget. Books and reading are very low on the priority list when confronted with things like water, power, and roads.
Necessity is the mother of invention, however, and the local libraries support each other. Laverne says the donations White River receives from residents is wonderful. She often arrives in the morning to find crates of books deposited on the doorstep. These are assessed, with the best quality and most useful copies categorised and kept in the library while the balance are passed on to community centres, old age homes and schools. Nothing is ever wasted and Laverne is very grateful to the donors.
Next time you visit the library, take a look at the table just to the right of the door – all those books are there to be taken by anyone, no charge. The library staff just want to get people reading.
Yes, as you’d suspect, reading isn’t the popular pastime it used to be. The library is always busy with scholars and students researching and information hunting, and pensioners spend a pleasant time browsing before making their selection but young people don’t read for pleasure any more.
What’s available at our town library? Sit on one of the comfy couches and leaf through the magazines and newspapers, the explosion of colour in the corner is where the little ones enjoy story time, there is computer access and free WiFi, the option of joining the library of the Blind and a fledgling e-Book facility. Simply download the free App and you are on your way, ‘withdrawing’ an e-book for two weeks. Oh, and good news for travellers, the library has Audio books as well.
Determined to remain relevant in the fast, electronic age, White River Library celebrates four major annual events:
- Library Week in March, including poetry, writing, debates and drawing
- World Book Day in May
- Literacy Month in September, holding amongst other events a Spelling Bee
- Readerthon in November – back to basics with speedreading and counting how many pages read
Membership is free to all Mbombela residents upon presentation of proof of residence, two references and completing the application form.
This is an amazing facility We Are very fortunate to enjoy, so make the most of it and get reading!
Mon – Fri: 08h30 – 16h00
Sat: 08h30 – 12h00
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
Between White River Square and the Municipality, across from the Post Office
Phone: Library Main Desk: 013 750 6039
Phone: Laverne Sanderson: 013 750 6034