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South African Library for the Blind celebrates 100 Years of existence

Grahamstown, 29 March 2019

The South African Library for the Blind (which is the only Library servicing blind persons in Southern Africa) celebrated 100 years in operation on Thursday, 28 March 2019.

The day kicked off with a book launch of the book titled South African Library for the Blind – A Dairy of the Library. The book is the library’s first internal publication and it seeks to commemorate and celebrate the history of the library since inception. The day culminated in a gala dinner being hosted in Makhanda to commemorate this milestone.

The library was founded during the height of the 1918 global Influenza pandemic by a local nurse, Josephine (Josie) Wood established a small library in a little room in her house in 1919.

“The growth since then has been tremendous. We currently have mini-libraries in each province to service the local communities, with our primary focus being on providing equal access to information in accessible formats that improves the quality of life of blind and visually impaired people, at absolutely no cost to the user. The library is an entity of the Department of Arts and Culture and we would like to acknowledge the impact that the department has made on the lives of blind people,” said Francois Hendrikz, Director, South African Library for the Blind.

“We further extend heartfelt gratitude to our keynote speaker, the honorable Adv Tshililo Michael Masutha (MP), Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, who promises to further advocate for the rights of blind people,” he added.

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Update on the new Library Management System:

The teams from Universal Knowledge Software (UKS) and SALB are busy finalising the outstanding modules and the system should be up and running tentatively by end October 2018.

In the meantime the Circulation Staff continue to manually select books based on your reading interests.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Please submit any inquiries to:;

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