Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview with a Record Librarian at the SABC Record Library

This is the first interview as part of a series of blog posts to gain a better understanding of the SABC Record Library, as well as part of a series of blog posts about the SABC Media Libraries. It is a way of generating a better understanding of what we do in the different sections that we belong to.

The interview this week is with Justice Muthakhi, the Record Librarian and Team Leader in the Record library.

The Record Library houses recorded music, previously unavailable, as well as all genres of recorded music, including Jazz, Gospel, Kwaito, Rap, Rave, Classical, World, Light, Mood, Sound Effects and others. The music is regularly accessed by staff and made available to internal clients.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. (Where you grew up, where and what you studied and your work experience before you joined the SABC Record Library)
I was born in Venda (Thohoyandou). I attended school from the beginning to standard 9. I obtained Senior Certificate while I was working. I joined the SABC straight from school.   I spent most my life in the music industry as a link between the record companies and the SABC record library. Ordering CDs and dealing with public enquiries. I also capture CD information on the record library system. 
Please tell us about a normal day in your office. What music do you give priority to?
Normal day?  I do not have something like that.  Each day has a different call. Although Tuesday is a day for Record companies and independent producers to sample their latest products; some of them come from as far as Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland.  I have to accommodate them any day of the week. This means I could go to the SABC foyer any time of the day.

Tell us more about your collection and the scope of material you need to preserve in the record library.
Our collection  stands at:
Light Music over               59000
Classical Music over          21 600
Transcription discs over     4 000
In our storeroom we have also a collection of LP’s and Seven Singles that are still in use because not all songs are on compact discs.

Do you struggle with technical difficulties, and if so, what?
Yes, change in technology is very fast and for me to keep up the pace is little bit difficult. I would say to have enough time to close the gap is a challenge.

Tell us why you enjoy doing the work that you do.
To work with people is a challenging situation and interesting as well. I meet different personalities every day and I learn a lot from these individuals.  Sometimes it is painful but at the end they help me to grow spiritually.

 Questions and post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

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