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On 1 March 2010, as part of Equal Education’s (EE) ‘Campaign for School Libraries’, a new project was launched at 20 Roeland Street, Cape Town: ‘The Bookery- Home of the Equal Education Book Drive’. The Bookery is a depot where books suitable for either primary or secondary school learners can be donated. With the help of a committed team of volunteers, donated books that are up-to-date and in good condition are sorted, shelved, covered, labelled and catalogued using the latest computer software.

How it works

The staff and volunteers use a 2 pronged approach. They actively identify schools which would benefit from the Bookery Project as well as have an open application process. All schools considered have two basic elements: an existing formal structure which will be used exclusively for the purposes of a library (i.e. it must fall into the 13% of public schools in South Africa with an existing library space but no books); and a member of staff committed to taking on the role of librarian. During the collection process, The Bookery team works closely with the librarian-in-waiting, as well as learners and other educators from the school. This allows them to better gauge the appropriate levels and areas of interest required by the school’s readership. Each library established by The Bookery contains a minimum of three books per learner, and caters to the needs and interests of the school’s readership through a comprehensive selection of fiction, non-fiction and reference works. Established libraries are suitably furnished (allowing for space for future growth). The Bookery ensures that it contains a computer with the appropriate software, and that it is a warm and inviting space. For example, Mak1, one of South Africa’s most acclaimed graffiti artists, paints stunning murals in every EE library.

Libraries Established

1. Thembelihle Library 14 May 2010 *To view the pictures of the launch click here

2. Lavendar Hill Library 14 July 2010 * To view the pictures of the launch click here

3. Masiyile Library  5 November 2010 * To view the pictures of the launch click here

4. Mount Pleasant Primary 24 December 2010 * To view pictures click here

5. Blomvlei Primary 

6. Blossom Street Primary 

7. Oscar Mpetha High 19 May 2011 * To view pictures of the launch click here

8. Sobambisana Primary School 21 July 2011

9. St. Agnes Primary School 28 July 2011 

10. Kayamandi High School 2 August 2011 * To view pictures of the launch click here

11. Lwandle Primary School 17 August 2011 * To view pictures of the launch click here

12. Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School 24 September 2011 

13. Delta Primary School 16 October 2011 * To view pictures of the launch click here


Click here for general Bookery photos



New leadership

Themba Tshabalala has taken over as the Coordinator of the Bookery. With a passion for books and extensive knowledge of the literature, Equal Education is confident that The Bookery is in good hands.

Mandela Day

In lieu of Nelson Mandela day, the Bookery had a continuous flow of people drop by and assist with the sorting of hundreds of books. There were fantastic donations, and the staff and volunteers at The Bookery could barely keep up with all the people pitching in to help with the covering of books.

Cape Town Book Fair

This year Equal Education (EE) took part in the Cape Town Book Fair. Bookery staff and volunteers headed to the convention centre to collect book donations and raise awareness about Equal Education's School Libraries Campaign. Our attendance at the book fair was a great success and we look forward to participating again next year.


At the moment the Bookery is going through a consolidation process to help with the books coming in. Please contact us at or call 021 461 4189 if you are interested donating books, volunteering or suggesting a school you feel may benefit from the Bookery project.