The Department of Arts and Culture supports public and community libraries through the conditional grant. This enables South Africans to gain access to knowledge and information resources that will improve their socio-economic conditions.

Since its inception in 2007, the conditional grant has made great strides in improving the State of Public and Community Libraries in South Africa.

The conditional grant enhances the public and community libraries through:

  • Improved coordination and collaboration between national, provincial and local government around library services.
  • Transformed and equitable library and information services delivered to all rural and urban communities.
  • Improved library infrastructure and services that meet the needs of the communities they serve including building new libraries, upgrading existing infrastructure, mobile Library Units, Toy Libraries, Mini libs for the people with visual impairments and dual purpose libraries to provide library services to schools and communities.
  • Improved staff capacity and training to respond to the knowledge and information needs of the community.
  • Improved culture of reading through reading programmes, literary events, establishment of book clubs, writing and publishing programmes.
  • Implement reading facilities for visually impaired persons in public libraries are being prioritised and rolled out in provinces in cooperation with the South African Library for the Blind.
  • ICT infrastructure and Library automated systems.
  • Purchasing library collections including school text books and gaming equipment for early childhood development (ECD) needs.

The Provincial Library Services have utilised the conditional grant funding to build, refurbish and upgrade libraries, establish ICT connectivity in libraries, Staff capacity development programmes, acquire Library equipment and furniture, establish reading programmes, and increase Library collections.