Public libraries are a critical resource for building a culture of reading, but they are drastically underutilised in South Africa. Some provinces also charge unnecessary membership fees.
In October and November, we collaborated loosely with national and municipal libraries to run a national library card sign-up drive. Participants had a chance to win one of 50 bicycles.
The call-to-action directed entrants to a simple web form where they selected their library from a pre-populated database. Nal’ibali sent membership applications to partner libraries. A progress track ticker and heat map showed the number of signups by region in real time, to fuel a sense of broad participation and momentum.
The drive was supported by digital and social media, PR, and events hosted by field staff in local communities.
We also identified some key learnings. For example, we had surprisingly few pledges from Limpopo, which was most likely due to the scarcity of libraries in this province and the high costs associated with getting a library card.