Library Look: Central Library

This is the Central Library in Cape Town, South Africa. Located in an old drill hall, this is a treasure. It is even located on the corner of Parade and Darling streets – how adorable is that?

According to web info:

Volunteer Drill Hall

The original function of this hall was to accommodate the volunteer forces of the Western Division as its headquarters and instruction venue, including drilling when the weather was not good. In 1954 the building was transformed to accommodate the Central Library Cape Town.

History

  • 1884 – Foundation of the Drill Hall laid by Thomas Uppington, the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony
  • 1885 – Building inaugurated
  • 1889 – Building extended by architect Anthony de Witt
  • 1987 – Declared a National monument and a Provincial Heritage Site

The library, which was previously housed in the City Hall, has moved to the site of the Old Drill Hall where it re-opened as a Centre of Excellence to the citizens of Cape Town on 1 September 2008.
Initial funding for the upgrade of the new library came from the Carnegie Corporation, when they awarded a $2 million grant to the City of Cape Town in 2004.
I love this quote from a senior librarian there: “We are not the quietest library. You should be here on a Saturday, this place is buzzing.” That is exactly what a library should be! The days of uptight libraries loudly shushing patrons is o-v-e-r. Today’s libraries have rooms for quiet study and reading. The rest of the library should be respectful of others, of course, but not completely silent.

Well done, Cape Town!

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