The ownership of community libraries in the hard to reach DPE areas became topical this
month as community based organisations, students, women, youth, farmers, people with
disabilities, teachers, health and others deliberated on the topic.

In their deliberations, community library users raised issues such as breaker pays
principle. Morena Letlala Sealuma of Hloahloeng said that, the principle is not aimed at
causing discomfort for users but instilling the sense of responsibility. They would like to
see the library accessible on selected days.

“We would like to see our children using the libraries.” said one teacher from the primary
school. She agrees with the user-pays policy but that has to be varied considering that in
schools there are many orphans who may need services and access but not be able to

This is a robust conversation among community library users to find ways through which
ownership should rest with communities. The conversation also touches on the issues of
sustainability. The outcome shall be used to develop policy guidelines in this regard and
the implementation shall generate idea to build on the initiative that goes towards full
community ownership and sustainability. Communities are also at liberty to name their

The conversation goes on at Lekoakoaneng, Polihali (where the phase II of the Lesotho
Highlands Water project) is being built, Lebakeng, Hloehloeng, Kuebunyane, Seforong,
Khoelenya and ‘Mamaebana.

The community libraries are aimed at linking the hard to reach communities with the
policy makers. People should use the libraries to engage their leaders and hold them to