The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Community Development Library and Information Services (LIS) officially opened the Noordgesig library and launched the Youth Digital Skills Programme.
The opening of the Noordgesig library coincided with International Literacy Day. The City of Joburg is committed to fostering a culture of reading and ensuring that children develop a lifelong appetite for learning.
The Noordgesig library showcases the new digital technologies and services that the City’s libraries will present. It’s a model library that will be used as a benchmark for all new library facilities in the City.
Noorgesig library boasts one of the biggest eLearning Centres with over forty public computers providing access to free Wi-Fi. The centre has a private eClassroom which will allow community training sessions to be conducted without any disturbance to other users. The centre further presents gaming spaces for kids and youth to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills needed by the youth in the fourth industrial revolution era.
The youth Digital Skills Programme was also launched, which is part of the City’s “Smart City vision and strategy that focuses on youth employability and bridging the digital divide among all citizens. It will also enable citizens to gain access to the knowledge economy, digital economy and encourage entrepreneurship.
The youth Digital Skills Programme is prioritising digital skills in response to COVID 19 and the fourth industrial revolution. The employment of 107 youth interns on a short-term contract of 18 months is aimed at ensuring that young people are not left behind, in terms of requisite digital skills. The youth will be mentored in various library facilities by experienced librarians and will receive training both internally and externally.
Each group has been given an opportunity to work on a project that will form part of their portfolio when they exit the programme. Some of the interns have already worked on the Library website. “We are so proud of our programme as it continues to show positive results. Out of the 30 graduate interns, 5 already resigned as they got permanent employment opportunities in various sectors. We will therefore continue to mentor and train these young people so that they have the work experience needed by the industry,” said Cllr Margaret Arnolds, Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Community Development.