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For more than 150 years the eThekwini Municipal Library has served the growing needs of its users.

During these years the Library has never been under-utilised; in fact it has played a vital but understated role in the informal education of thIt has played a vital role in the informal education of thousands who live in the eThekwini region.

The eThekwini Municipal Library was established in 1853 as the "Durban Mechanics Institute" for "the intellectual improvement of its members and others" and it is one of the oldest institutions in KwaZulu-Natal.

It opened with a collection of about 400 books in a small, thatched wooden structure on the site where 320 West Street is today and became the Durban Municipal Library, under the control of the Durban Corporation in 1911, a year after it had moved to the City Hall.

Today it is known as the eThekwini Municipal Library, and has a total of 592 977 members and a library materials of over a million items.