Click to view large map
This replaced the Carnegie Library.
BENONI LIBRARY – Now and Then
The old Carnegie Library in Benoni was a gift from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and was situated in Cranbourne Avenue. It was built of red brick in 1923 by Reid & Knuckey where the Plaza is now situated. At the same time the Municipal Offices in Princes Avenue were built.
The Mayor Clr C.A. Rickard opened it in August of that year and Mr. W.G. Griffiths was appointed as the first librarian. Three thousand books were provided by the Town Council.
In July 1974 the new library on the corner of Elston Avenue and Tom Jones Street was built as the old Carnegie Library was old and did not compare favorably with the standard required as in other libraries.
The new library was designed to provide maximum space and facilities “for every possible cultural and educational need”. Sketch plans were approved by the Town council and architects produced the working plans.
Concerned Councilors at the time, altered the original architect’s plans for the library because of high costs. They were later assured that the prestige building was designed for extensions and that it would be a lending library as well as a cultural and educational center and that the building was one of the best projects Benoni had seen in many years.
With the natural slope of the ground on the site, there is a lower ground floor, a ground floor and a first floor.
The three level library consists of a lower level where the children’s library is situated as well as sections for the pre-school child, older children and a children’s reference section.
This floor also has a group activity room which is an auditorium to accommodate 110 people with a stage and screen. The hall is suitable for lectures, screening educational films or slides or for other cultural activities.
The ground floor houses the main library, consisting of the lending and reading libraries. There is a section of replicas of old Benoni to be seen as well. Adequate provision is made for the elderly and crippled with easily accessible entrances and lifts.
The first floor consists of librarian’s rooms, a committee room and offices for typists and clerks. Included on this level are the reference library and sections for maps, atlases news-papers and periodicals. . A number of study carrels are available for students who wish to study in a peaceful atmosphere.
Listening rooms for CD’s and DVD’s are available and a TV room for viewing. An enquiries section and a sick room are also on this floor.
Sources: BCT dated 1962 & “Benoni Handbook” 1924
These notes were last edited on 2020 03 26