‘Mini-library’ on a cellphone may create better access to literature

COJ Library - mobile literacy - children learning about selecting images online.

COJ Library - mobile literacy - children learning about selecting images online.

Published Feb 18, 2024


Physical libraries play a vital role in our communities, offering a wealth of knowledge and resources. However, they come with inherent challenges that can restrict access for many individuals.

The distance to the nearest library may be prohibitive, travel conditions unsafe, transportation costs burdensome, or they might not be open to fit in with young people’s schedules.

Considering there are only 1809 public libraries nationwide, the infrastructure places considerable strain on resources, with more than 11 000 young individuals potentially relying on a single library.

Recognising the challenges associated with traditional library access, we must turn towards the use of technology.

Digital, mobile applications that serve as a “library in your pocket” represent a groundbreaking advancement in South Africa’s mission to elevate literacy rates and enhance our youth’s critical thinking abilities. These platforms enable young individuals to access a vast array of books free of charge without the need to visit a physical library or handle a tangible book.

By leveraging the technology that rests in the palms of their hands, we can significantly boost academic achievement within our schools.

This approach not only democratises access to educational resources but also aligns with the digital habits of today’s youth, offering a practical and effective solution to our literacy challenges.

Contrary to popular belief, young people love to read. With access to a mini-library on a cellphone, young people can read, share and discuss literary material online with their peers.

* Lea-anne Moses, Executive director at Fundza Literacy Trust Cape Town.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

Do you have something on your mind; or want to comment on the big stories of the day? We would love to hear from you. Please send your letters to [email protected].

All letters to be considered for publication, must contain full names, addresses and contact details (not for publication)