Ottery manager scoops recognition award

District manager Flippie van der Walt with Tracey Muir-Rix.

A senior Ottery librarian has walked away with the top award at the City of Cape Town’s information services department’s recognition of service awards.

Tracey Muir-Rix won this year’s award for the manager of the year for her commitment and managerial skills, and for marketing the facility.

Ms Muir-Rix has been at the library since 2014 and has implemented some positive changes which have made it a safe haven for children from Ottery. She even hosted a book festival accommodating international authors.

Regular storytelling, programmes for seniors, and homework clubs are some of the many activities residents can take part in at the library.

“Ottery library is very isolated and not many people are aware that we exist,” said Ms Muir-Rix.

She said the sports and recreation department at the Ottery Multipurpose Centre did wonderful work with the children by trying to implement programmes that keep them off the streets.

“I partnered with them in a bid to enhance our holiday programmes where we do storytelling, crafts and other fun activities because I realised there was a great need in the community.”

Although Ms Muir-Rix tries to keep the rate of reading up, she said it’s difficult when parents don’t instill a habit of reading in their children.

“Libraries are magical spaces that open doors to a world of words and brilliant and exciting adventures. I implore parents to invest in their children by making them a library card as soon as they are born.

“With literacy levels being so low it is our duty to ensure that children are library members and are taking out books. We need to be role models for our children. They need to see us reading so that it becomes ingrained in them so that they rather pick up a book instead of sitting for hours playing TV games,” said Ms Muir-Rix.

Anda Ntsodo the City’s Mayco member for community services, said the awards is a way to honour the hard work done by library staff.

“Librarians and libraries are one of the cornerstones of education. They contribute to the education, growth and development of our young people. The support provided by librarians helps to build empowered, knowledgeable members of communities. It is only fitting that we recognise the hard work, dedication and selfless contribution of our librarians. These awards are a small token of our appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to them,” said Mr Ntsodo.

Ms Muir-Rix thanked the staff at Ottery library.

“I could not have won this award without my amazing team including Karen van der Heyden, Sharon Roman and Vincent Voegt. I am also thankful to my manager Flippie van der Walt for his guidance, support and for believing in me.

“It is indeed a great honour,” she said.