Johannesburg City Library
The Johannesburg City Library first opened its doors in 1935. It houses approximately 1.5-million books and items in its collection, and has more than 250 000 members. The building was upgraded between 2009 – 2012, and can now accommodate over 500 visitors. There are a number of specialist libraries within this stunning city building, including a children’s library. Take the kids here for a one-of-a-kind library experience. If you are weary of venturing into the CBD on your own, book a walking tour of the library with MicroAdventure tours.
Special features: There is free Wi-Fi at the Johannesburg City Library, as well as an on-site coffee shop, a multimedia library and music library.
Details: Albertina Sisulu Rd & Pixley Ka Isaka Seme St, Johannesburg CBD | 011 492 7071 | Operating hours: Monday – Saturday : 09:00-17:00
The Sandton Library is situated at Nelson Mandela Square. They are open to the public, but you will have to become a member to borrow out books. Their children’s section caters to kids aged 3 to 6. Why not pop by the library on your next visit to the bustling Sandton CBD? Treat the kids to something sweet afterwards at Belle’s Patisserie or Walnut Grove located inside the Sandton City shopping mall.
Special features: Story time is held at the library every Wednesday afternoon. They also offer holiday programmes and extended operating hours during summer months.
Details: Nelson Mandela Square West Street, Sandton | 011 282 5911/ 5912 | Operating hours:
Monday – Thursday : 09:00-18:00
Friday & Saturday: 09:00-17:00
During the winter months, (May to August) the library will close at 17:30 on Monday – Thursday.
Yeoville Library is one of the newest public libraries in Joburg. Opened in 2009, the library is a much-needed community literacy initiative. The library is dedicated to the youth of the area. There are three sections for children, teens and young adults, as well as private study areas and access to free Wi-Fi. Reflecting the diversity of the Yeoville suburb, this library is an inner city book lovers haven.
Special features: The library boasts excellent digital facilities and equipment making it a great space to study, do research or just chill out.
Details: 51 Raleigh St, Yeoville | 011 487 1390 | Operating hours: Monday – Thursday & Saturday: 09:00-17:00; Friday: 09:00-13:00
Edenvale Library is surprisingly difficult to find. Tucked away behind the dull, imposing municipal offices, this multi-storey home for books is a must-visit for literature lovers of all ages. Not only do they offer their members the latest best sellers, but also reference books, classics, audio books, DVDs and magazines to loan. Their second floor is solely dedicated to children’s books, and features comfy reading corners, colouring-in activity books and puzzles. The staff here are super friendly and always willing to help out an eager young reader.
Special features: The library is surrounded by quaint restaurants and coffee shops. Take the kids along to De Backery (The Windmill Restaurant) just up the road from the library for delicious Dutch stroop waffles and thick hot chocolate.
Details: Van Riebeeck Ave, Edenvale | 011 999 3071 | Operating hours: Monday – Friday 09:00-16:30; Saturday 08:00-12:45
Alexandra 3rd Ave Children’s Library
This library, situated in the heart of Alexandra, is solely dedicated to children’s literacy. Re-opened in 2015 after extensive renovations, the Alexandra Children’s Library caters to children aged 3 – 18 years old. On average, the library sees up to 300 school children pass through its doors each day. The staff are known to assist the little ones with their homework or school projects; while, grade 11 and 12 students are offered career counselling and support. This library is a great resource for those who live nearby. However, they also welcome visitors who are looking for specific books or just a great place to introduce their kids to reading.
Special features: The library host holiday programmes for children of all ages. Split into their own age groups, children are encouraged to participate in story telling, games and quiet reading.
Details: 123 3rd Ave, Kew, Alexandra | 011 264 0895 | Operating hours: Monday – Thursday 09:00-17:00; Friday & Saturday 09:00-13:00
This one is for older kids with an interest in arts, culture and media. The Keleketla! Library in Troyeville, near Maboneng, is an interdisciplinary, independent library and media arts project. Their project, which launched in 2008, seeks to expand the traditional notion of book sharing and dissemination of knowledge. However, they do house a traditional library space with over 3 000 books, as well as posters, magazines, handwritings, audio and videos for lending.
Special features: The Kelekelta! Library host after school programmes which offer teens and young adults a space to enhance their intellectual and social experiences through art and media tools. Learners engage with local and global themes, while contributing to library archives and community initiatives.
Details: 6 Verwey St, Troyeville | 011 402 0141 | Operating hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
Have we missed out on any great children’s libraries in Joburg? Let us know about them!