Sunday, February 27, 2011

#472 Library Day in Cape Town

Welcome to Kelly and Mary's Library Day in Cape Town!

With no appointment, we walked right into the National Library of South Africa.   Both the library campus in Cape Town and the one in Pretoria offer reference services and reading rooms for researchers studying South Africa history.  Also, South Africa is the only African country besides Egypt that has full depository status for US Federal Government publications.

Shortly after the secret librarian handshake, we are seated with Najwa, the principal librarian, at the reference desk who is eager to tell us about her library and about her city.

Next up on our library tour is the new home of the Cape Town Public Library.

Mike gave us a tour of the recently renovated city library, courtesy of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  Architecturally, the library space is a terrific example of reusing an old building for a higher purpose.   Here 55,000-70,000 library users arrive each month to use the internet, to take workshops for job seekers (Mike's specialty), and to check out books.  Eight librarians plus assistant librarians manage all that traffic.   

If you're coming to Cape Town, be sure to include these 2 libraries on your list.  And if you have time, stop by the National Library's Centre for the Book and tell us all about it. 

Yours in library land,


  1. Yikes, how did we miss visiting these two libraries when we were there. We'll just have to go back now.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tim,
    Semester At Sea: the best planning tool for your next international vacation.