Delegates from libraries all over the country attended the official launch of Library Week 2008, which took place at the Skukuza Staff Village Community Hall and was held under the auspices of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) on March 15, 2007. The managing executive of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Dr Bandile Mkhize, warmly welcomed library representatives from all over the country to the event.
"As the managing executive of the Kruger National Park, I find it very gratifying to see that conservation icons like our beloved Kruger can also become icons for the library and information sector," said Dr Mkhize during his welcome address.The KNP's library, the Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Centre, is a full member of LIASA and the KNP was chosen to host the national event after it hosted the Mpumalanga provincial event during 2007.
Opened for the first time in October 1961, the Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Centre also plays an important role in conservation. "Many people don't realise that apart from its roles in biodiversity conservation and tourism, the Kruger National Park is also a valued research laboratory used by scientists from all over the world.
"Data for these various research projects is often found in our archives and, of course, our own Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Centre," Dr Mkhize explained. Situated in Skukuza, the Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Centre was named after the first warden of the KNP, Lieutenant Colonel James Stevenson-Hamilton, and includes a museum and a reference library with a wide variety of journals, papers, theses and more than 6 000 books which help to tell the story of the Kruger National Park.The Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Centre is also a valuable part of the heritage attractions of the KNP and is visited by approximately 100 people every day.