National Library Service (NLS) has expressed happiness on how people have embraced the introduction of a service fee to the Library users.
NLS Librarian, Grey Nyali said the fees have been welcomed by users as the turn up is still high.
“The development has been positively received as more people are still using the national libraries. The fees is just affordable to everyone, it can’t even be compared to other fees offered by other service providers,” he said.
Nyali said that the introduction of the fees is part of the NLS reforms in improving service delivery in all their branches across the country and the money collected is used to help in improving their services.
“As you know, people love being on a clean environment. Reading needs a clean and safe environment for better understanding so the money that we collect from our users is used to buy cleaning materials, chairs, fans but also repairing broken things for better usage. It is only important and fair for the users to contribute.” He said.
Commenting on whether the development has not caused any hindrances among children, Nyali said the children are allowed to use the Libraries for free.
“The fee was only introduced to adults. Children are not affected in any way as they use the Libraries for free and even the adults who have agendas and things to achieve through reading are still using our services and it is not expensive.” He said.
The Librarian added that, “People like students from private universities come to use our services because most of them don’t have them in their schools. They come to get information which helps them in their studies.
“As it is, the Libraries are so important to users as it acts as a backup for the serious readers and those who don’t come have their own problems,” Nyali explained.
Gracious Mangani one of the Library users in Blantyre said it is a good environment because it is helping in having more serious readers.
“The move is fine everyone who comes here now comes with a purpose. It is helping to enhance hard work spirit because no one comes to waste time anymore as they have in mind that they are paying to be at the place. I wish they could even charge more,” he said.
NLS introduced a library user fee for every individual accessing service in all its libraries across the country on July 1, 2016 where everyone pays K 100 except children.