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The Best Libraries In South Africa

The Best Libraries In South Africa

Fun fact: South Africa’s awesome libraries don’t just boast great books, but also art and music! 

Check out these cool libraries to explore and enjoy South Africa’s interesting culture and stories.

National Library of South Africa



  • 228 Johannes Ramokhoase St, Pretoria Central, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
  • 5 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

The National Library of South Africa is the largest in the country, and it has branches in Cape Town and Pretoria. It’s got an enormous collection from rare manuscripts to maps and photos.

This library is also the go-to place for collecting and preserving everything published in South Africa. If you want to check out what they have, just visit their website for the online catalogue and digital collections.

Johannesburg City Library

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Address: Albertina Sisulu Rd &, Pixley Ka Isaka Seme St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Johannesburg City Library, in the heart of the city, is the go-to spot for book lovers. Since 1889, it’s been a hub with a whopping 1.5 million items, from books and magazines to CDs and DVDs.

It also has a special collection of Africana books, which covers the history and culture of Africa. Plus, they’ve got cool extras like free Wi-Fi, computer classes, reading clubs, and fun stuff for the kids!

Cape Town Central Library

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Address: 1 Parade St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 444 0209

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Thursday – 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Saturday – 9 AM to 1 PM

Cape Town Central Library is like the main library for the City of Cape Town, right in the middle of everything. They’ve got tons of stuff – books, newspapers, and even electronic resources.

If you’re into Cape Town history, they’ve got this cool collection of Cape Studies books. Plus, they offer a bunch of services like internet, photocopying, printing, scanning, and meeting rooms for everyone.

Durban University of Technology Library


Address: cnr Steve Biko Rd &, Botanic Gardens Rd, Musgrave, Berea, 4001, South Africa

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Durban University of Technology Library is a great spot for studying and chilling. With six branches on different campuses, it’s loaded with all the resources you need for your studies – books, journals, e-books, and more.

They’ve got spaces for group work, solo study, and even some leisure reading corners. Plus, you can use their computers, printers, scanners, and Wi-Fi to stay connected and get things done.

Port Elizabeth Main Library

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Address: Port Elizabeth Central, Gqeberha, 6006, South Africa

The Port Elizabeth Main Library is a cool old building with fancy Victorian-style architecture. It was built way back in 1902 and is the only old building in town that still works as a library.

You can find lots of stuff there, like books, newspapers, and even internet access. They also do fun things like book clubs, story times, and workshops to keep things interesting for everyone.

Sandton Central Library 


Address: Nelson Mandela Square, West Street, Sandton.

Phone: (011) 282 5911

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 9 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Saturday – 9 AM to 1 PM

Sandton Central Library at Nelson Mandela Square is a book lover’s haven with three floors of diverse reads. It offers over 92,000 items, including audiobooks and more.

With sections for all ages and study spaces, it accommodates nearly 200 readers. Whether you want to relax on couches or use computer facilities, it’s a welcoming spot for students and researchers alike.

Centre for the Book


Address: 62 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8001

Phone: +27 (0)21 423 2669 /+27 (0)12 401 9700

The Centre for the Book (CFB) is part of the NLSA, focusing on fostering a reading, writing, and publishing culture in local languages. The centre gives advice on publishing books and supports the culture of reading and writing in South Africa.

It also talks about how reading and writing can help the country grow. The Centre for the Book organises events like book discussions, workshops, and even donates books and posters.

Orlando East Public Library

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Address: 6544 Rathebe St, Orlando East, Johannesburg, 1804, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 935 1040

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 4 PM

Orlando East Public Library, the oldest in Soweto, South Africa, provides a diverse collection and free internet access to the local community. It’s a welcoming space for both adults and children, with a special area for kids’ books.

It’s a nice place with clear signs and lots of room. Students like to study there because of the many books, and there’s also a special area for children’s books upstairs.

Randburg Library

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Address: Bram Fischer Dr &, Selkirk Ave, Ferndale, Randburg, 2194, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 789 7569

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM

Randburg Library is a friendly place for the local folks, making it easy for them to come in and get great service. They really care about helping Randburg’s schools and working on making the community better through development and training.

The library is a safe and comfy spot for reading and studying. They also host cool events like story time, competitions, workshops, and Battle of the Books to make learning fun and help the community keep growing.

Stellenbosch University Library


Address: Stellenbosch University, Victoria St & Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7602, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 808 4883

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM

Stellenbosch University Library is the main library of the Library and Information Service, SU and located on the Stellenbosch campus. It provides access to books, articles, e-journals and other resources in various disciplines and topics.

It also offers services such as interlibrary loans, off-campus e-access, training and referencing. The library aims to support the academic programmes, research, innovation and social impact of the university community.

Fish Hoek Library

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Address: Central Cir, Fish Hoek, Cape Town, 7975, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 400 7101

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday – 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday – 10 AM to 6 PM

Fish Hoek Library is in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a public library that was the 5th most popular in 2015. People can use it to read online encyclopedias and find books through the city’s website.

About 12,000 people live in Fish Hoek, and the library is open at night for those who work late. The library helps the community with free computer use, events like tea talks, and a yearly book festival.

Rondebosch Library

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Address: Hall Rd, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 814 1751

Operating Hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday – 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Wednesday – 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Friday – 11 AM to 4 PM
  • Saturday – 9 AM to 4 PM

Rondebosch Library is a public library that snagged the 18th spot among the City of Cape Town’s busiest libraries in 2013. You can check out its collection online through the City of Cape Town’s Open Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).

The library is there for the citizens in Rondebosch, providing book loans and giving access to computers, newspapers, and all sorts of useful stuff. It’s a handy resource for everyone in the neighbourhood.

Amazwi South African Museum of Literature


Address: 25A Worcester St, Grahamstown, Makhanda, 6139, South Africa

Phone: +27 46 622 7042

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

The Amazwi South African Museum of Literature keeps stuff about South Africa’s literary history. It collects and saves things related to South African literature, promotes it, and makes it accessible to everyone.

The museum has three main collections: manuscripts, books and journals, and press clippings. They also do programs to get students interested in and aware of South Africa’s literary heritage.

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