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The City of Cape Town’s Hangberg Library was officially opened today following maintenance and extensive renovations. The renovations enhance visitors’ library experience and also make the facility more accessible to people with disabilities and the elderly. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects, Alderman Belinda Walker, officially opened the Hangberg Library today, 3 March 2016. The library has been open to patrons since December 2015 following months of extensive renovations and maintenance at a cost of over R2,5 million.

The City’s libraries are identified for proactive maintenance in a five-year cycle. The major changes to the Hangberg Library will improve the visitor experience and ensure that it is now more accessible for people with disabilities.

In addition, a glass roof gives patrons a sweeping view of the Hout Bay harbour area, which draws thousands of local and international visitors annually.‘The improvements to this library will go a long way towards ensuring that it is an accessible and inviting space. We want this library to be a place where residents feel at home and will want to spend their free time enjoying all that the library has to offer. The library has experienced a new level of usage and already there has been a definite increase in the number of users following its reopening in December.

‘The library closed in February last year to allow for major redesign work at the facility. This involved moving the entrance to the main access road and installing a lift to improve access, particularly for people with disabilities and the elderly,’ said Alderman Walker.

Additional renovations and upgrades included the following: a new disabled-friendly toilet, new public toilets, a new circulation desk, a new SmartCape desk, new carpets, interior and exterior painting, an office for the Librarian in Charge, new shelving and furniture, improved fire alarms and emergency exit, improved lighting, two additional small store rooms, a small staff tea/lunch area, and an improved workroom and layout.

‘Libraries have moved away from solely being centres of reading to serving as centres of broader opportunity. The library of the 21st century is a place where residents can share ideas, access job and business opportunities online, and engage in life-long learning. It is important that we continue to maintain and upgrade our libraries so that they can continue to serve our communities, in line with our commitment to creating an opportunity city,’ said Alderman Walker.

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