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Central Library Cape Town

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Country  South Africa
Established  1954
Circulation  357,412
Type  Public library
Phone  +27 21 444 0209
Central Library Cape Town
Location  Old Drill Hall, Parade Street, Cape Town
Branch of  City of Cape Town Library and Information Service
Address  Drill Hall, Darling St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Hours  Open today · 8AM–8PMWednesday8AM–8PMThursday8AM–8PMFriday9AM–6PMSaturday9AM–4PMSundayClosedMonday9AM–8PMTuesday8AM–8PM

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Central Library Cape Town is a public library in Cape Town, South Africa. It is one of 102 libraries within the City of Cape Town Library and Information Services.

Contents

Central Library includes lending and reference services as well as specialised art and music sections. There are 90 plus computers plus free wi-fi for library members. The library offers books, cds, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines for loan. It is the only public library in Cape Town with books in all 11 official languages and also has books in foreign languages.

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Introduction

Central Library was established in 1954 when the Cape Town City Libraries took over the subscription library of the South African Library. In 1962 the library moved to the Waalburg building in the city centre. In 1982 the library moved again, this time to Cape Town's City Hall The library received two grants from the Carnegie Corporation which allowed the library collections to be significantly improved and extended and a computer centre was established. The City of Cape Town, provided funds for a new library to be established in the Old Drill Hall. Central Library opened in this new permanent site in 2008.

History

There has been a public library in the centre of Cape Town since 1818 when the South African Public Library (SAPL) was established. This was a free library until 1829 when it became a subscription library. In 1952 the Cape Town City Library Service (CTLS) was established to create a free municipal library service for Cape Town. In December 1954, after negotiations, the CTLS took over the subscription library of the South African Public Library, buying the stock and renting the reading room. Central Library was established and opened to the public in January 1955. In 1956 a branch was opened in Long Street which included non-fiction books, children's books and music. In 1962 Central moved from SAPL to SANLAM building, Waal Street. The music section was also moved from Long Street to this building. In 1965 the Central and Long Street branches were amalgamated to form a new and enlarged Central branch. Apartheid legislation affected the service offered by libraries. The 1953 Reservation of Separate Amenities Act resulted in libraries being designated for specific library groups. In 1969 City Park library was opened and all “non-white” members of Central were transferred to City Park Library. However the Central information and Music libraries could still be used by ‘non-white” members.

Art Library

One of only two public art libraries in South Africa. The library covers all aspects of arts and crafts and is especially strong in African and South African art; Photography; Fashion and Graphic Design. The library is well used by students and local craftsmen and artists. The art library,as a specialised department within Central, opened in 1965.

The Performing Arts & Music Library

A music library was included in the Long Street Library when it opened in 1956. The library included gramophone records, sheet music and the Evelyn Fincken Collection and the collection of the Cape Guild of Organists. The first issue of gramophone records in South Africa by a public library was on 5 July 1956 from the Long Street Library.

References

Central Library Cape Town Wikipedia


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