Staff Reporter Windhoek-The National Library and National Archives remains closed to members of the public until emergency plumbing work is completed, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has confirmed. The National Library and National Archives closed its doors to the public early last month as the building started falling apart and also experienced plumbing problems. Its closure has inconvenienced researchers both locally and internationally who are required to use this facility for their work. The National Library and Archives is the only public research institution mandated by the Namibia Library and Information Act (Act No. 4 of 2000) to collect, preserve and promote access to its collection, nationally and internationally. It also serves as the only national bibliographic agency responsible for the allocation of the International Standard Book Number/International Standard Serial Number (ISBN/ISSN) to publishers and authors of books, magazines or anything published in Namibia. “The ministry is cognisant of the importance of the National Library and Archives to the community as well as our visiting and local researchers,” said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp. She said the national archives is the only national institution that preserves the Namibian history and provides access to these records. “It holds records dating from the 1800’s,” she stated. She said the national library is the only government institution responsible for setting standards, inspecting records and ensuring all offices, ministries, agencies and state-owned enterprises follow proper records management as mandated by an Act of Parliament (Act No. 12 of 1992). A feasibility study which was done in 2012 revealed it had major structural problems, according to Steenkamp. “The ministry of works over the years did repairs as problems occurred. Given the magnitude of the problem, the ministry has prioritized renovations of this building as one of the projects to be funded by the African Development Bank,” Steenkamp added.
New Era Reporter
2018-02-01 09:29:15 9 months ago