Town Libraries
Photo Credit: City of Cape Town

Two Cape Town libraries are celebrating a lifetime of community service, standing the test of time in a digital world and escaping closure in the curtails of the pandemic:


Cape Town, South Africa (20 October 2023)—In a world that’s moving more and more into digital chapters and one that saw numerous community spaces across the world turn their final page for good during the pandemic, two Cape Town libraries are celebrating decades of community service.

Standing the test of time when you’re a library is no small feat, especially when considering some of your friends were on the brink of closure. 

So, for Elsies River and Leonsdale libraries, the years they’ve jointly shared is also a big win for learners, leaders, readers and knowledge seekers and for the quiet power libraries still have in the modern world.

Especially considering that new library memberships increased by 38.6% for the 2022/23 report, this celebration is a nod to the quiet, but hugely impactful power libraries still hold.

Elsies River Library turned 60 years old, while Leonsdale turned 40.

“Both these libraries have become places of reading, beacons of knowledge, and anchors of the communities they serve. Both are in areas where they play a vital role in ensuring young patrons have access to resources to ensure they’re able to excel and grab hold of any opportunities,” shared Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross.

Elsies opened its doors back in 1963 at a humble size that doubled in the early 90s to serve its foot traffic.

Elsies has won awards for its Children’s programmes, its Library programme and its supporters even won a provincial award for the best Friends of the Library’.

Today, this library is the proud home of over 40,000 pieces of library stock (books, records and recordings to name a few).

As for Leonsdale, the library became the new book on the block in 1983. In its time around, it has served many people, has won an award for outstanding service to the public and was even a matric dance festivity scene last year in celebration of the matrics who used Leonsdale to complete their school work as part of the homework programme there.

Together, the libraries celebrate a lifetime; one of many to hopefully come.

Sources: City of Cape Town
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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