Librarians are known to have the power to transform not only individual lives but entire communities.
This has been the case with Colin Eglin Sea Point librarian Roni Snitcher who is bowing out after 23 years of dedicated service to Sea Point.
Ms Snitcher started at the library in 1995 and has worked on several programmes since, including the Pram Jam, which has been running for more than a decade.
A trained English and drama teacher turned librarian, Ms Snitcher said she has always been passionate about working with children.
Although her home is across the bay in Milnerton, Ms Snitcher said she felt like a Sea Point resident.
She said she has built great relationships with schools and residents in the area and treasured every moment of it.
Ms Snitcher said the Pram Jam is among her proudest work. The reading programme caters to children from 4 months old to when they start pre-primary school.
She said she knows that one day, through such programmes, the library will produce brilliant leaders.
“Over 140 children would come to this programme every Wednesday. I sang to them, I read the books and I’ve learnt so much,” she said.
She said the library was like a second home for pupils who were sometimes left stranded or waiting for their transport and parents to pick them up.
A resident of Sea Point, Anna Glass, said she was sad to see Ms Snitcher leaving.
“She’s extended herself not just as a librarian, but a person of integrity and a friend to everyone,” said Ms Glass.
She said Ms Snitcher introduced her to book clubs.
Esther Kweitegetse, a regular at the library, said she was sad to see Ms Snitcher leaving.
She said Ms Snitcher was a like parent to their children.
“She had a way of explaining things for everyone to understand, especially kids,” said Ms Kweigetse.
She said Ms Snitcher was resourceful, kind and made it comfortable to ask anything. “I did a tour guide course and I needed information for my last assignment. She went out of her way to guide me in the section and provided me with textbooks. I managed to pass the course and for that, I’ll always owe her,” said Ms Kweigetse.
Ms Snitcher’s parting words were: “I hope the community will continue to love and nurture the library. We need communities to support the libraries by donating their old books.
“I want children to be readers and the culture of reading to grow because it is the reading that leads to the development of their imagination.”