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Libraries: Libraries in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay

1. Linton Grange Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Linton Grange Library was officially opened on 2 October 1972, by Mayor Solly Rubin. In 1985, the courtyard was enclosed and the adult and childrens’ library counters were combined into one. In September of the same year, the Linton Grange Library became the first public library in Port Elizabeth to become computerised.
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2. New Brighton Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
On 2 March 1937 the Mayor opened the New Brighton Library in a room in the T.C. White Hall. This was the work of the local Joint Council under the leadership of L.F. Addis-Smith and Miss Violet Couldridge. Councillor Holland took a particular interest in this Library. In 1994, with the One City Initiative, New Brighton Library was integrated into the Port Elizabeth Library Services, and with the formation of the Metropolitan Municipality in December 2000, it became part of the Metro Library Services.
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3. Main Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
In Port Elizabeth, a small reading society, known as the Port Elizabeth News Societ,y was established in 1844 and housed in a rented room above a shop in Jetty Street. The reading matter consisted mainly of English magazines and London newspapers and the main South African newspapers published at the time, in addition to a small collection of books. In 1845, the Society moved to a rented room in the Commercial Hall which stood on the site of the present Main Library building.
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4. Allanridge Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Allanridge Library started as a library affiliated to the Cape Provincial Library Service (CPLS) and was established in Gibbon Street, Jubilee Park, in 1963. Membership soon grew and the building became too small for the growing demand. In 1984, the present building which had all the facilities that was needed, was completed with a subsidy from CPLS.
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5. Despatch Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The very first unofficial library in Despatch was operated from a farmhouse. When the owner of the farm died in 1933, a group of people kept the library going by collecting and exchanging books amongst themselves. They raised funds by organising concerts and other events to buy new books. When the public library as we know it today was officially opened on 28 May 1967, this group of people proudly handed a cheque of R1000 to the new library. The money was used to beautify the garden and erect a water fountain.
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6. Algoa Park Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Algoa Park Library opened on 7 December 1979, after a depot service to children had been operating at the ACVV Haas Das Speelkas for some years. The official opening ceremony took place on 28 January 1980. In November 2001 the OWLS, the Friends of Algoa Park Library, was established.
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7. Booysens Park Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Booysen Park Library was completed in December 1983, and the official opening took place on 9 February 1984. The residential area developed somewhat slower than expected, and the staff consequently initiated outreach programmes. At present, they run services to housebound borrowers, a senior citizen club at a local church, and the Algoa Frail Aged Care Centre.
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8. Kwamagxaki Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The KwaMagxaki Library was opened on 1 February 1997. The staff consisted of Ms Bongiwe Chigumbu (Assistant Librarian); Ms Nomvuyo Madubedube (Library Assistant); Ms Nokuzola Madlingozi (Cleaner); and Mr Z.S. Mkalipi (Custodian). After Ms Madubedube left the Library Service, four different library assistants took her place until Ms Joyce Cekisani joined the staff in November 2000. Ms Cystal Woodford was transferred from the Redhouse Library in 1998, and, in the same year, Mr Mkalipi was replaced by Mr M.S. Simakuhle.
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9. Walmer Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
On 16 January 1900, a Library for the residents of the separate municipality of Walmer was opened in St John’s schoolroom and by the end of 1914, the library was housed in a room in the Walmer Town Hall. These premises became inadequate as time passed by and by 1935 it was stated that the library was temporarily closed “for want of accommodation”. Of course, from 1902 the Port Elizabeth Public Library’s new building in the Market Square was open and Walmer residents became subscribers and made use of it when they came to “town”, as they had to do for shopping and business matters. Getting into Port Elizabeth became much easier after the opening of the train line in 1906. The Walmer Municipality gave an annual grant to the Public Library in recognition of its importance to Walmer residents.
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10. Zwide Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The existing Zwide Library was opened in February 1993, as part of the Cape Provincial Library Service. It was taken over by the Port Elizabeth City Library Service in 1994 and, together with the 17 libraries in Port Elizabeth, the 4 libraries in Uitenhage and the library in Despatch, fell under the auspices of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality from December 2000. The Library consists of a lending hall, study hall, activities hall, separate workroom, office and kitchen. This library services a very large community and acts as an information provider for the learners, students, and teachers of ten Senior Schools, 21 Primary Schools and the Vista Campus of NMMU.
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11. Elukhanyisweni Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
In September 1996, the Elukhanyisweni Study Centre started functioning as the fourth Uitenhage library. In January 1998, it started registering members and circulating library material. A close working relationship with the READ Foundation resulted in READ training sessions for teachers being presented in the library hall and book-boxes with supplementary reading for school-classes being distributed from the library.
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12. Newton Park Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
Newton Park Library offers an extensive collection of books and information for all needs and tastes. Convenient parking including wheelchair friendly access. Photocopying and faxing service available. Auditorium facilities for hire for functions. The Newton Park Library was opened on 14 July 1964 as the H.B. Smith Library, moving to the current building on 12 January 1979. The auditorium was opened on 28 July 1981.
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13. Motherwell Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The site and foundations on which the Motherwell Library is built, was originally that of a police station. As the community objected to the police station being built there, as they would have preferred a library, the station was burnt to the ground. After lying derelict for some time, the community’s wish was fulfilled when the Motherwell Library was opened on 1 April 1998.
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14. Kwadesi Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
On 17 September 1996, the KwaDwesi Library started its service to the community. The membership originally consisted of a few adults, and pupils from the surrounding schools.
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15. Korsten Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The plans for the Korsten Library were passed in October 1965, and the library was opened on 23 October 1967 by the Mayor, Mr N.P. Rademeyer. The official opening took place on 21 November 1967.
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16. West End Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The West End Library opened its doors to the public on 5 May 1973. It was initially a depot service operated from the Korsten Library. Membership and interest grew to such an extent that it soon adopted the normal operating hours of the other libraries. Due to the ever-increasing demand placed on the services rendered, extensions to the building were made in 1986 and 1989. Over the years, services to far-flung areas and the less fortunate were added. The services are Bethelsdorp Old Age Homes in 1989, a service in Kleinskool in 1990, the House of the Resurrection Aids Haven in 1994, Cheshire Homes in 1996, and the Missionvale Care Centre in 1997. Due to lack of staff, the services to the Aids Haven and Cheshire Homes have been discontinued, while the service to Missionvale is now rendered by the Korsten Library.
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17. Uitenhage Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Uitenhage Public Subscription Library opened in 1858. It grew out of a Reading Society that was established in 1825. The library was first housed in a building in Market Street, but moved to the new Town Hall building in 1884. In 1902, a purpose-built library building in Caledon Street. opened its doors to the public.
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18. Chatty Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Chatty Library was completed in February 1982 and was officially opened on 9 June 1982 by the Mayor of Port Elizabeth, Mr H van Zyl Cillier. Mr Johan van der Westhuizen was the first Librarian, shortly followed by Mr Neville Ally, in 1983. Together with Mr Sam Olivier, Ms Maxine Cunningham and Ms Subeiga de Pearce, they formed the foundation staff of this branch.
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19. Gelvandale Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
The Gelvandale Library opened its doors on 17 November 1977. Mr Louis Allen was Librarian of both this library and the Korsten Library. Mr P. Plaatjies was the Senior Assistant, with Mr Vernon Sauls and Mr Neville Ally forming the rest of the staff complement.
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20. Kwanobuhle Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
In 1979, the KwaNobuhle Town Council affiliated with CPLS and opened a public library in Matanzima Road. Not much of the early history is known as the library was burned down in 1986. It was re-opened with new stock from CPLS in 1991.
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21. Kwazakhele Library : (Contact) Rate | Comment | Modify | Report
KwaZakhele Library operates as a Reference Library, and from 1998 the opening hours were reduced from 40 to 20 when the Librarian, Ms Mavis Tetyana, was transferred to Motherwell to establish a service in the newly built Motherwell Library.
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Libraries - last updated on: 7 Apr 2016

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