State of the Art Library Opens in Cape Town City Centre

New Cape Town library now located at the Old Drill Hall

A new $2 million state-of-the-art
library has been opened in Cape Town.

Executive Mayor of Cape Town
Helen Zille, officially opened the new central library, which will contribute to the regeneration of the Central Business District in Cape Town.

Previously housed at the
City Hall, the library was moved to Old Drill Hall to be used as a centre for excellence by all Capetonians.

Carnegie Corporation awarded the
City of Cape Town an initial funding of $2 million in 2004 to upgrade of the new library.

Most of the money was put to use by purchasing books as well as computer equipment. The City of Cape Town contributed R36.6 million for the refurbishing and upgrading of the library, resulting in extensive changes to the interior of the Old Drill Hall.

Most of the historic building’s changes have been to the inside of the building such as the construction of a basement level to accommodate the Children’s Library.

Speaking at the opening of the new library Mayoral Committee Member for Amenities and Sport, Councilor Shehaam Sims said that from a historical and architectural point of view, the library is one of the most significant buildings in the city centre.

“I am delighted by what has
been achieved, the provision of this amenity, which can be used by Capetonians from all walks of life and social and economic backgrounds is also a major contribution to the regeneration of the Central Business District," Councillor Sims said.

The new upgraded library will offer free internet access on 40 computers as well as access to a wider selection of books than previously offered in the old library.

It also house’s a professional
children’s collection, intended for research purposes, an extended Art Library and Music and Performance Arts Library.

There is also the American Corner, which will house additional books and computers donated by the United States Embassy.

During the event on Tuesday, Carnegie Corporation announced that it would donate a further $2.495 million to upgrade the library over a three-year period.

Carnegie Corporation President,
Vartan Gregorian said the public must be reminded that libraries are invaluable to those who are engaged in lifelong learning and cannot imagine an existence without something new to learn about and discover almost every day.

A coffee shop, bookshop,
meeting rooms, seminar rooms and an auditorium will all be available as well. The music library will have listening posts for CD’s and the DVD/Video collection which will include South African and African content.

Content will have a strong
local content and it will be the only library in the city offering reading materials in all 11 official languages.

This is just one of the many
great things happening in Cape Town, if you would like to keep updated on more of Cape Town’s happenings, subscribe to our Editor’s Picks Newsletter.

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