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With matric examinations in full swing, a number of City libraries are stepping up to help learners prepare. 

Not only do they have useful learning materials on hand, but they offer safe, quiet spaces conducive to studying. 

It’s also an opportunity to find study buddies to share information with and learn from. 

Such spaces aren’t necessarily readily available to many of the thousands of matriculants who will be sitting for their final exams in the coming weeks. 

So, the City’s Library and Information Service invites learners to approach their local library and find out what is available to them. 

There are numerous examples of staff going above and beyond the call of duty to help learners in general, but matriculants in particular. 

In Mamre, library staff have modelled the way by developing the ‘Creating Futures: Mamre Library Matric Support Programme’ several years ago.

They assist learners with various resources like past matric papers, study materials, space in the library to study including after-hours access under supervision of a staff member.

The library also assists with career guidance, online applications to tertiary institutions and general information regarding tertiary studies.  

The Leonsdale library is printing past examination papers and memoranda. Learners are able to collect the material after 16:00 daily, and return it the following day.

The Langa Library has started opening from 09:00 since 1 October 2019, to accommodate those who wish to use the study hall.

Generally, City Libraries also have a range of services that could assist matriculations, such as: 

* Access to Encyclopaedia Britannica which includes access for registered library users to the service on all internet-enabled mobile and smart phone devices. 

* The Smart Cape initiative, which provides free internet access to all library users. Members can request unlimited access to the service from any internet-enabled phone or other device. 

* City libraries also offer the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) which is available remotely via the Internet and can also be accessed inside the library. 

I encourage learners to find out what arrangements are in place at their local library to facilitate their examination preparation. The location and opening times of City libraries can be accessed here http://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/See-all-city-facilities/our-service-facilities/Libraries 

This is a very critical period for many young people. Examinations can be very stressful and the City wants to help wherever possible, as is evident from the sterling efforts of our library staff. 

While libraries are the obvious location for study time, we are looking at how we can possibly make other facilities within the Community Services and Health Directorate available for this purpose in future. 

To our matriculants, I say study hard, make sure you’re well prepared and good luck!

* Zahid Badroodien is Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health at the City of Cape Town.

IOL