City libraries’ initiatives uplift and inspire

28 Jun 2023 in Where We Govern

The City of Cape Town’s libraries hosted another round of the Women’s Information Skills Empowerment (WISE) programme in addition to a range of career expos. These events have reached thousands of women and high school learners during the first six months of this year. Read more below:

The career expo at Southfield Library attracted many visitors of all ages.

The WISE programme is aimed at empowering women from local communities and from all walks of life.

‘The intention behind the workshops is to provide access to essential life skills by equipping women with various competencies so they can thrive in their communities. Understanding the implications of potential gender biases, the WISE programme also strives to bridge the gender gap in the workplace by empowering women through library services.

‘This time around a total of 471 women participated in the six-week programme, which was hosted by 29 libraries. The programme inspires, empowers and give women a variety of skills,’ said the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

The libraries which hosted the WISE programme are Adriaanse, Avondale, Brown’s Farm, Central, Crossroads, Dunoon, Eersterivier, Elsies River, Fisantekraal, Goodwood, Khayelitsha, Langa, Lentegeur, Leonsdale, Lotus River, Micthell’s Plain Town Centre, Mamre, Manenberg, Mfuleni, Philippi East, Rocklands, Scottsdene, Southfield, Strandfontein, Tafelsig, Valhalla Park, Weltevreden, Wesfleur and Westridge.

The WISE workshops were facilitated by librarians, who presented on a variety of topics, including digital literacy.

An important component of the WISE workshops was job hunting and interview readiness sessions.

Participants were taught job interview skills and at least two participants used their newly acquired skills to secure employment.

The WISE programmes concluded with graduation ceremonies where the ladies were awarded certificates of participation, signed by the Mayor.

‘We’re expanding on the initial programme and our goal is to curtail the high levels of information illiteracy within communities, especially among women,’ said Councillor Van der Ross.

In addition, a round of career expos have just concluded which attracted nearly 2 000 interested persons.

The expos were held to assist learners, patrons and unemployed youth, in making an informed career choice.

‘Career expos are a fun way of getting the information you need to make the best decision about future employment. More than free career advice, the expos provide networking opportunities and those who attend are exposed to occupations they may not be aware of or considered,’ added Councillor Van der Ross.

Partnering with external stakeholders, libraries remain an important vehicle for obtaining career information by bringing together all the necessary role players to get patrons excited about choosing a career.

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