By Karabo Siyoko
Eyethu pop-up library is a book drive that gives the gift of reading to all citizens of Kimberley, young and old. The pop-up library was founded by Thabo Batshe and Ntesang Makutu with the purpose of helping people better their reading. They find great importance in assisting in the community by making books more accessible.
“It is a monthly pop-up library in Kimberley which exists for the sole purpose of kicking illiteracy in the chest. The encouragement to create the pop-up library was after we saw the statistics of Grade 4 learners that did not know how to read comprehensions at school. The stats showed that about 74% of learners could not read comprehensions, thus we decided to find a way to assist as far as we could,” explained Batshe.
Batshe and Makutu started the project by providing a total number of thirty five books that they personally owned. They then created a book drive in an attempt to receive more books.
The first pop up library took place at the Kimberley taxi rank and will continue doing so every two weeks. People are free to go to the pop up library, collect a book and return it at the next pop up.
“We chose the taxi rank because it is the one place where a lot of people are all the time, we would appeal to a wide audience by being there as a lot more people would notice the pop library, opening up the opportunity for them to receive a book on the go”.
Starting with thirty five books the duo have now safely collected more than fifty books. People came through with their support and assisted in making the first pop-up a success by bringing books for people to read. At the first pop-up which took place over the weekend, 27 people came and borrowed books.
“I would encourage the youth to read everything and not limit themselves when it comes to their reading choice. It is important that people read, not just for the sake of reading, but to read to understand. By doing this, they can relay the message of the books they have read to others, this will eventually entice and encourage more people to pick up reading as a hobby”.
“Parents should also play a role in fostering a culture of reading, they should ask their children to tell them what happens to the books they read, to make sure their children understand what they read,” Batshe added.
With the youth and reading not being one of the most prevalent combos in society today, the duo has big plans for reading initiatives in the province and we look forward to the great things that they will achieve.