As the world continues to move into digital spaces, many of our beloved activities like settling down with a book where you can actually feel the pages, have become less valuable in the eyes of those who delegate budgets.
Libraries in South Africa have largely faced the brunt of cost-cutting, with closures and closure blueprints rolling out in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Last year, the City of Cape Town made the decision to close the Tygervalley and Plumstead libraries. This decision also came after its mobile library service got given the boot after 60 years, again attributed to budget constraints.
The decision came from the decline in revenue led by the pandemic, but especially for the Plumstead Library, the decision has not gone down without a fight.
The Plumstead Library, premised to close in April next year as per Daily Maverick has been defended by local and high-profile protesters.
On Mandela Day, some ANC members utilised their 67 minutes to protest the library’s closure, expressing that they had identified new sites for the library to relocate to, that could combat the costs of rent, as IOL reports.
The rent factor was a point of reason given for the library’s closure as Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross expressed.
However, with a solution at the ready, people like Wesley Seal, Ward 6 co-ordinator, are calling the City’s reasoning a “lame excuse.”
Seale has expressed that there are 3 properties within walking distance owned by the City where the library could relocate, which has led to suspicions that the current Plumstead premise could be earmarked for private development.
This is one of the more recent protests for the library, but locals have also stood up for their book haven at other points in the year, emphasising the pillar of the community the library has been.