National Library of South Africa
The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) is the primary resource for, and custodian of, South African documentary heritage, seeking to promote creative, effective and efficient universal access to information.
Until 1 November 1999, for historical reasons, South Africa had two national libraries, the South African Library, founded in 1818, in Cape Town, and the State Library, founded in 1887, in Pretoria. On 1 November 1999 the two former national libraries were amalgamated in terms of two acts: National Library of South Africa Act 1998 (Act No. 92 of 1998) and the Legal Deposit Act, 1997 (Act No. 54 of 1997), to form the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) .
As a custodian and provider of the nation's key knowledge resources, the library is mandated by the National Library of South Africa Act to collect and preserve published documents and make them accessible, thus ensuring that knowledge is not lost to posterity and that information is available for research.
NLSA's collections contain a wealth of information, including rare manuscripts, books published in South Africa, periodicals, government publications, official foreign publications, maps, technical reports, Africana and newspapers. Many of these are available on CD or microfilm, in digital format or accessible online.
This is an outreach unit of the National Library of South Africa, intended to promote a culture of reading, writing and publishing in local languages and easy access to books for all.
The Centre for the Book coordinates book related activities nationally, such as book discussions, poetry readings, book launches, writing workshops and conferences. The Children’s Reading Centre provides opportunities to children from 0-7 years to read books for pleasure, write their own stories and be entertained by storytellers. The Centre also donates books and posters to schools, libraries, art centres and organisations involved in reading promotion.
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