Southfield library shows off R1 million upgrade

The new study area is now away from the noise and has accessible books.

The Southfield library has reopened after undergoing a R1 million upgrade over the past four months.

Senior librarian Layla Swart welcomed Ward 78 councillor Carol Bew and other guests to a special function on Tuesday August 1 to mark the occasion.

“The day has finally arrived and the library is looking beautiful,” Ms Swart said.

Ms Bew was impressed with the changes and said they were well worth the wait.

I have been looking forward to see the results of this upgrade; libraries have a very special place in my heart,” she said.

Ms Swart said the library had been in a bad way with peeling paint, broken fencing and a roof that needed waterproofing.

A wall has been knocked down to expand the library’s minor hall into a study area that also houses the non-fiction and reference collections.

Smartcape, the library’s internet service, is now at the front of the library where there is a new
Smartcape desk and three extra booths.

The old Smartcape space is now a meeting room.

The interior has been painted in bold, bright colours and the carpets have been replaced. The bathrooms have new wall and floor tiles and the staff admin area has a new server, fibre cables and preparation for wi-fi access.

Outside, there is a new fence, a motorised exit gate and a roller door shutter gate at the entrance. The building has been painted, the roof waterproofed and the windows tinted.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, said the upgrade would attract more people to the library.

“ I also expect that people will not just pop in and out to borrow a book but will rather want to stay for an hour or two because it is now such an inviting and comfortable space,” he said.

Access to information was an essential pillar in democracy and the library was part of that, he
said.

“Public libraries continue to be an important part of promoting equality through their contribution to the reduction of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment.”