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Consulate Durban News

Training for American Corner staff

January 26, 2011
Group of people working on computers.

American Library's Thula Hlongwane and Chantal Boulle keep a watchful eye on participants during the hands-on training session.

Improving service capacity will benefit the community

The American Corner staff from the Msunduzi Municipal Library in Pietermaritzburg participated in a training exercise provided by the Durban Consulate's American Library staff. The exercise covered topics such as basic internet searching skills, U.S. government online resources with specific emphasis on important resources such as America.gov, American Corners Central Database as well as a demonstration of the  Foundation Center's online directory.
 
Consul General Jill Derderian welcomed the group of nine librarians comprising the American Corner staff as well as those working in the reference section of the Municipal Library. The library is strategically situated in the CBD of the capital city of the KwaZulu-Natal province so is easily accessible by the sorrounding communities it serves. 

The Consulate enjoys a good working relationship with the Municipal Library and, for example,  has brought a number of U.S. speakers to address audiences on a variety of topics of interest including human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and crime prevention.

Consular Affairs Officers Lewis Carroll Lewis briefed the participants about visa application procedures to enable them to answer basic questions from the public about visiting America.  They also had the  opportunity to chat with to the  Consulate's Community Grant’s Coordinator about funding of community run projects and initiatives, as well as the Education Advisor on opportunities for South Africans to study in the United States.

All participants offered positive feedback and they were already talking about ideas on how they can extend American Corner programs to benefit communities from branch libraries.