Durbanville Library proudly joins the elite group of centenarian institutions as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. The library stands as a testament to the community’s dedication and its staff’s unwavering commitment.
A Brief History of Durbanville Library
The Vrede Street library service was established in 1904, initially relying on a membership subscription scheme before receiving financial support from the provincial government and municipality. In 1923, the library relocated to two rooms in the old Durbanville City Hall, where the collection had previously been housed by the Anglican Church in a storeroom.
In 1960, the library moved to the Durbanville Civic Centre and finally found its current home on Koeberg Road in 1973. The library underwent an expansion and upgrade in 1987, reopening in 1989. The Shuttleworth Foundation generously funded another upgrade in 2008, building a hall and extending the children’s section.
Services and Activities at Durbanville Library
Durbanville Library offers an array of services, including book borrowing for all ages, E-resources, Smart Cape, free Wi-Fi, a reference and study area, children and youth services, and outreach programs to schools and old age homes. It also hosts cultural and community events in the library and the hall.
Under principal librarian René Schoombee’s leadership, Durbanville Library has been transforming young lives through its “It takes a village to raise readers” program. For many residents, it serves as a vital hub for social and cultural engagement, offering an assortment of activities and clubs catering to various ages and interests.
Library staff regularly conduct outreach programs at schools in the Durbanville area, while the dynamic Friends of Durbanville Library organize book sales throughout the year, supporting the library’s initiatives.
Membership and Collection
With around 80,000 items, Durbanville Library has the second-highest circulation in the City of Cape Town. Boasting 8,169 active members, the library has experienced the most significant membership growth from January to April, with 1,492 new members.
Cultural and Community Engagement
Durbanville Library is more than just a haven for book lovers. Every week, the library hosts a games afternoon, where visitors can enjoy board or card games in a friendly atmosphere. The junior chess club, held every Tuesday, introduces children to competitive chess and fosters critical thinking skills. Traditional library activities like story hours and book clubs continue to thrive, along with sketching classes for teenagers looking to hone their artistic talents.
As Durbanville Library celebrates a century of service, it remains a shining beacon of culture, education, and community spirit. It continuously adapts to the needs of its patrons and strives to enrich lives for generations to come.