A new world-class, three-storey library in Dunoon worth an estimated R40-million has finally opened its doors to the public.
Executive Mayor Dan Plato says the new library is invaluable for the community of Dunoon, where vulnerable communities reside. “This collaboration recognises the importance of providing high-quality learning resources that learners have access to, particularly in our more vulnerable communities. If the community embraces the culture of learning that this library symbolises and makes sure that learners, be they young or old, are encouraged to make use of this library, the benefit to individual and community growth and empowerment will be tremendous.”
The five-year project is a joint venture that required three tiers of government – local, provincial and national – involvement and funding. The library will provide a safer space for learners to complete research for projects and school assignments, allowing them to excel in their academics and broaden their minds.
Plato says the new facility contains a collective 15 000 written and audio visual materials for locals, so “residents will find an almost endless source of learning, development, recreation and entertainment for young and old”.
The new facility has the following features:
– Two City SmartCape sections, one for children under twelve (three terminals) and one for adults (eight terminals) to provide access to digital resources
– Free online access via the City’s SmartCape service
– A reference study section
– Free Wi-Fi with limited data downloads
– A collection of more than 15 000 library items (this includes books as well as audio visual material)
– A balcony with a lovely view
– Newspapers and magazines in print and in digital format
– Reading programmes; storytelling sessions and teen programmes
– Two study nooks
– Community meeting facilities
– Music listening pods
– A section containing material for adults and teenagers.
Western Cape Government’s Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, says the library will play a pivotal role in social development and integration for residents of the Dunoon area.
“By providing access to information, this new library will support the Dunoon community in exploring and challenging barriers, values, and behaviours as these relate to social integration. More importantly, libraries engage communities on matters of social importance and encourage the social inclusion of all while offering a sense of identity and belonging, all of which is much-needed in today’s society.”
Mayco Member for Committee Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien comments on the importance of reading for empowering individuals.
“Reading not only increases general knowledge, it also helps one to learn how to write and improve one’s self-esteem. We hope that the community, together with the City, will take ownership of the library, which really is a facility to be proud of,” says Badroodien.
Picture: City of Cape Town, supplied