The Bloemfontein Public Library is finally set to open in May 2017. This comes after its closure for renovations in 2013.
The Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation made an announcement in 2013 that the Bloemfontein Public Library will be closed for upgrades, and reopened to the public in June 2015. The library has not yet been completed.
According to the Project Manager and Deputy Director of the Provincial Library Services, Elmari Kruger, the library will not be opened in due course because of challenges faced during the construction of the first phase of the project.
Kruger, however, says the Library is currently in its last construction phase. Although the department had initially allocated R15 million for all three phases, Kruger mentions the costs of the project had escalated.
She adds that the Bloemfontein public library is one of four legal deposit libraries in South Africa, excluding the Library of Parliament, which means each book published in the country has to be available at the Bloemfontein Public Library as stipulated in the Legal Deposit Act.
“While we were busy with the major upgrade of the library, more needs were identified. We had some challenges to complete the work. We are, however, busy with the last phase. It was a major upgrade consisting of three phases. Phase one and two have already been completed. We are currently working on our last phase. We are planning to open the library next year and have everything ready”, explains Kruger.
In May 2017, the public can expect a state of the art library where they will be provided with a study area. The people who visit the library will have free Wi-Fi access, among other benefits.
There will even be programmes presented for child development. The public will also be trained on how to access educational material.
In the meantime, the public is advised to make use of their nearby community libraries.
Katleho Morapela/ Courant News