After the first small library in Masiphumelele came to an unhappy accidental end in 1999, Sue oversaw its resurrection in 2003 with the generous support of MasiCorp, an NGO established by American benefactors John & Carol Thompson.

Susan Alexander. Photo from www.reputation,

Over the past few years Sue and Masiphumelele Library have received recognition and awards in a number of ways:

2005: Most Community-involved Library of the Western Cape Award, awarded by Provincial Department of Arts, Culture & Libraries.

2008: Sue presented a Paper at  & participated in  UNESCO’s  4th International Seminar on Cultural Management: Education, Culture and Cooperation for Development, in  Girona, Spain. Sue was invited to participate, all expenses paid, to share her experiences and projects at Masiphumelele library.

2009: A paper entitled “Outreach programmes serving Multicultural Communities” celebrating Masiphumelele Library’s successes  was presented on behalf of Sue by the  Chief Librarian of Central Library, Cape Town, at the American Library Association Conference, International Division, Chicago, USA.

Exclusive Books Library Trust and Peninsula Beverages South Africa(Coca Cola) donated funding to extend the library premises to accommodate outreach programmes. The project is managed by Rotary International (Newlands branch) and the  building is due to be completed in  December this year.

In October,  Masiphumelele library was awarded the SABINET grant of R25 000 for the Thinking Skills Programme, which helps children develop critical thought and vocabulary skills. The programme is to be presented during the  2010 school year at the  Masiphumelele Library.

Masiphumelele Library  has been nominated for the Provincial Department of Arts, Culture and Libraries’ awards for the  Best Library, Best Children’s Services and Best Outreach Programmes – awards to be announced

And the Fish Hoek and Masiphumelele Library staff have been nominated for LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa) Western Cape Branch’s Best Library Team 2009 – the winners to be announced on the 2 December.

Contributed by Lyn Steyn.