Table View librarian part of the A team

The winning Area A team, at back from left, are Craig Fredericks, Central library; Kaylene Amon, Hout Bay; Tania Blignaut, Central; Elizabeth Smith, Mamre; Andiswa Mpukuluthi, Fisantekraal, and, in front, Lulama Mtshingila, Camps Bay.

It was a clash of the librarians at the annual Amaboekies Reading Team of the Year competition in Bellville on Friday April 21.

Competition was fierce as the librarians were quizzed on 25 books they had read. This year the winning bookworms were the team from Area A, which includes the Central, Hout Bay, Mamre, Fisantekraal and Camps Bay libraries.

The event is a highlight on the annual library calendar and tests the librarians’ reading prowess and memory skills. This year Amaboekies formed part of the celebrations for World Book Day on Sunday April 23.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services, said a librarian’s job involved a lot more than just helping to locate a book on a shelf.

“They also help to create and develop readers by encouraging a love for the written word. They support struggling readers and initiate programmes to market our library services.

“Patrons expect librarians to have a vast knowledge about the different genres, authors and even the content of books. In short, our librarians rock at reading and books.”

Amaboekies was held at the Bellville South civic centre, and this year the programme included experienced spoken word artists from Khayelitsha, as well as an interview with a local debut novelist, Qarnita Loxton, whose book, Finding Kari, will be released in May.

Also on the programme was the marimba band, iThemba Labantu, a group of talented teenagers from Philippi.

While the Area A team walked away as the victors this year, the Area B team (Masakhane, Kuyasa, Macassar and Harare libraries) were hot on their heels and only lost out by a page or two.

“This event aims to encourage our librarians to continue being reading champions and cements their role as ambassadors of the written word,” said Mr Smith.