The City of Joburg Libraries has introduced an innovative initiative which promises positive changes in my learning and development endeavours. Through e-learning @ your library services I can now access computers with free internet, get free wi-fi and twelve e-learning classrooms. All of this leads to ease of access to skills and training opportunities. I rate the e-learning @ your library highly mostly because it comes at an opportune time where internet and technology are central to all social and economic activity with which I get exposure to academic and career pathways.
Free wi-fi is one of the benefits I now enjoy because of e-learning @ your library. Since this progressive initiative was designed to be a gateway to information and development services, I think it is safe to say that free wi-fi has provided much needed relief in terms of data and airtime affordability. I can now interact on social networks without thinking about financial implications. Access to free wi-fi has also enabled me to save a few pennies I used on data. Now I can channel that money to other areas that benefit my well-being. The 300 MB of data I get daily is more than enough for me to source work and training opportunities, it also affords me the chance to exhaust all avenues of research in my quest for academic excellence. I do all this conveniently on my phone.
Thanks to e-learning @ your library I can now get access to computers with free internet. Gone are the days of waiting in long ques in internet cafes just to email my CV or to create one. I cannot stop to Imagine the financial relief e-learning @ your library has had on my search for employment. Nowadays it costs about R12 per page if you make a CV and by then you have not even considered the approximate R14 fee to send that fax which is yet to be determined by area code. All those costs are of course curbed by the e-learning service of access to free computers with internet. I have even enrolled for an online course in Web Design, which has helped me advance my skills, learn new things and develop career-wise so as to better position myself in the market for employment.
Come to think of it I never had an e-mail address before I entered one of the twelve e-learning classrooms at the library. For real I owned a library card long before I had an e-mail address which goes to show that indeed ‘’Happiness is having a library card’’, as the City of Joburg libraries states. I learnt basic through to advanced computer skills, I learnt how to create my own web page and of course I learnt how to create my own e-mail address – all in the e-learning classroom. Through this service, I have grown, not only academically but in a holistic way. In as much as it is a classroom it is also a social platform where I interact with other humans apart from computers. This helps me learn more about myself, especially my areas of development. The classes may be a well of general knowledge but it is not only limited to that.
It is amazing how e-learning @ your library and the related services has brought me closer to realising the power of the internet. I can now access e-resources and e-books which honestly is a new source of acquiring information and knowledge to me. I spent a lot of time on one search engine filled with adverts and distracting links but not the information I require at once.
I can now download e-books with ease, which helps me a lot because I can read them on my phone or tablet at my convenience. This has also added to my desire of being an active reader, the e-resources and e-books help in a great way because a smartphone and tablet are portable I can read anytime and anywhere. This, in my case, is a good substitute to carrying a bag full of books daily.
E-learning @ your library has given us a platform to acquire meaningful knowledge even at fundamental level, the foundation phase so to speak. The techno-literacy service is very important because above all it is two-fold, it speaks to literacy from a reading perspective and to the exposure one gets to technology, devices and how to benefit from these. I have seen a change, not only on myself but in all my fellow City of Joburg Library card bearing colleagues.
* This essay was submitted as part of the City of Johannesburg Libraries eLearning Essay Writing Competition. It was selected as the winning entry.