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Library - inc. Friends and Craft Market

Tokai Library is situated in Tokai Road.  

Contact details are:
Tel: 021 710 1480
Fax:          021 715 5931

Library membership is free to all who live in Cape Town.

Current opening and closing hours are:
Monday         10.00 - 17.30
Tuesday         13.00 – 19.00
Wednesday 10.00 – 17.30
Thursday         13.00 – 19.00
Friday 11.00 – 16.30
Saturday         10.00 – 13.00

City of Cape Town: Online Library Catalogue
For renewals, OPAC Website:

City of  Cape Town: Library and Information Services: 

In 2014, The City’s Library and Information Services Department spent approximately R2 million on the renewal of the Encyclopaedia Britannica online licence.  This means that all City library users will have 24-hour, 7 days a week, remote access to the service in the following ways:
In the library
On their own computers
On their internet enabled mobile phones or tablet devices.
All that is needed to access the service is a library card number.  For more information:

Tokai Library has a conference/function room that it available for hire.  Please contact the library for more information.

The FRIENDS OF TOKAI LIBRARY is a volunteer organisation that aims to promote a close relationship between the library and the surrounding communities, promote public awareness of the functions, services and needs of the library, help maintain the standard of service offered at the library and  make the library more accessible & friendly.

Anyone who uses the library may become a member of the Friends, & may help on a voluntary basis in any way the library needs.  For instance, some of our volunteers help with gardening, others with shelving books, another reads with young children during the week.

Funds are raised by membership fees, which are currently R30 per year & by other fundraising methods, such as recycling glass and paper.  Application forms are available at the Library or Tel: 021-710-1480.

This is held at the Library entrance.  For further information, please call Carol (Cell: 073 157 6266)

History of Tokai Library -  (contributed by the Librarian)

Initially Tokai library started out in a garage as Lismore library on the Herbert’s property in Lismore Avenue. In the early 1950s it was moved to a garage of the Lister-Wrights home. The librarian, Mrs Aileen Lister-Wright was there until the early 1980s, when the library was moved again to the premises within T R Motors building on Tokai Road.

The proposal to build a new and permanent library came from Douwe van Popta, then chairman of the Tokai Residents’ Association. In 1989 this proposal was actively followed up by Stan van Wyk, subsequent chairman of the Tokai Residents’ Association, and Yvonne Wood, Councillor of the Local Council of the Constantia Valley. 

After negotiations regarding concern about the removals of trees and possible noise in the library hall, the local council approved a budget of R1,500,000. With Yvonne Wood as the project manager, because this was her passion, and the two architects, Michael Rudolph and Steven Lennard, the building of the beautifully quaint-looking Tokai Library was started with great excitement in August 1991. The library was officially opened by Councillor Andrew Ross-Munro on 18 May 1992.

The library was the guinea-pig for the new PALS computer system (Public Libraries Access System). The Friends of the Tokai library regularly hosted much welcomed Saturday teas, craft market, book sales and various other events.

Memories of The Friends of Tokai Library and Volunteers

Library staff remember the following about the start of the Friends of the Tokai Library:

 At the beginning of May 1992 one of the biggest tasks was the moving of the stock from the Lismore library up the road to the new building. A large proportion of the community came out to help and a long line of people snaked from the library to the bus forming a human chain and moving the books from person to person. Others helped at the old building situated at the Total petrol station to load boxes. This was very exciting and tea was served to all the willing participants.

The Friends of the library were established shortly after the library was opened. The committee members were mostly the volunteers that had run the Lismore library, the forerunner of the new Tokai library. The members consisted mostly of those who were in their forties and fifties. The founder had a constitution drawn up in order that funds could be raised to help the library to grow. There were only 5 staff members when the library opened and a lot of help was received from the volunteers of the Friend’s to issue books, help with admin and shelve. A book mending club was formed and they used to meet once a week to mend our books. 

Every Saturday there would be morning tea and the Friend’s had a roster as to who would serve tea and who would bake cakes. Book sales, from books donated from the community, were held once a week if enough books had been donated. Once a month they were held on the lawn outside or in the hall with special marked-down prices. There were several book sellers who would be regular customers. Special cake sales, morning teas with speakers, craft markets, fashion shows, teas for special events, evening functions with speakers, library birthdays (we all used to wear costumes or hats supplied for free from one of our borrowers who ran a costume hire business) and holiday programmes were all some of the exciting events that were organised to raise funds (excepting the birthdays). Staff and volunteers from the Friends would all be involved in the organising of events and would arrive early in the morning to set things up and help during the event. A small information booklet was also produced from time to time. Many books were bought from funds raised.

 As time went by and the needs of the library changed the Friends would help by paying for students to help on a Saturday morning and also for a cleaner several times a week and for students when required during the week.  In the past we have had dedicated and committed chairpersons who all did their best to aid the library.