A women’s library opens at Artscape, the brain child of WOMAN ZONE and a new innovative-thinking space for Cape Town’s women.

The Woman Zone Library Hub (WZLH) on the ground floor of Artscape is an extraordinary collection of books for, by and about women. Fiction and non-fiction, they represent a peek into the vast range of women’s interests, skills and achievements.

Thought to be a first for Cape Town, if not for South Africa, the library has taken some leads from the Glasgow Women’s Library which has a vibrant 21 year history, includes lending facilities, archive collections of artefacts and is run entirely by volunteers.

At this stage, due to capacity constraints, the WZLH is a reference library only, but its purpose is for visitors to come, read, learn, enjoy, share and source information. It houses over 600 books, catalogued and categorised by an experienced team of former librarians. It’s a project of WOMAN ZONE, an organisation founded by Nancy Richards, and is run by volunteers who can help find information and even bookmark what visitors have been reading to ensure that on a return visit they can pick up where they left off.

Opening hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 11am to 2pm or by appointment but times will be extended as more volunteers come forward.

The WZLH is also designed as a centre where women can come not only to read but to hold small workshops, book launches, poetry readings or meetings. It has already hosted the launch of WOMAN ZONE’s own publication Being a Woman in Cape Town – telling your story (Face2Face) and is the regular venue for a book club and beauty therapy training.

“This is just a beginning,” says Richards, “in time we hope both to grow the number of books, and find bigger premises where we can create an archive and display the achievements of women in this town, past and present.” But as it stands, in line with the WOMAN ZONE mandate, the prime purpose of this unique space is ‘to bring the women of Cape Town together.’

Plans are for an ‘On the Shelf’ book of the week feature on the WZ facebook page and some interesting workshops are already under discussion. The team behind WOMAN ZONE have a wealth of skills to share so watch this space for more information.

Anyone interested in volunteering to assist at the library is welcome to email or call Beryl at 082 490 6652. Bookings for events (capacity 20 people seated) can be made through the library for a small donation.

WOMAN ZONE is a registered NPO  Facebook:

WZ Library Hub, opening hours: 11am to 2pm Thursday and Friday Weekly  Admission: free