library libraries

Photo: City of Cape Town.

Fairy tales, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ books dominate list of most popular overdue items at Cape Town libraries

The City of Cape encouraged residents to return the 20 131 overdue items, worth more than R1.8 million, to libraries during National Book Week when fines will be waived.

library libraries

Photo: City of Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town said that there are more than 20 000 items outstanding from its libraries across the city. MayCo member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, encouraged patrons to return outstanding items during National Book week from 6 to 12 September as no fines will be charged.


The City said there are currently 20 131 items overdue at the 102 service points, including three satellite libraries, across Cape Town.  The outstanding material is worth more than R1.8 million, according to Badroodien.

“The pandemic and different lockdown levels have meant our libraries were not always open and patrons could not access the facilities freely. I want to encourage patrons to return any items they may have that are overdue.

“The value of the outstanding material is a whopping R1 848 739. These are items which can bring information and relaxation to many others, so I urge patrons to visit their nearest library during this week,’ said Badroodien.

Fairy tale books and mathematics literacy study guides for matric learners are the most popular overdue items at Cape Town libraries. The Councillor said he was encouraged that parents are reading to their children or that younger library-users are keen readers but the items must be returned so that more residents can enjoy them.

As for the textbooks, he said that study materials were in high demand during this time of the year and urged students and learners to return the items so their peers also have the opportunity to learn from the material.

“Our libraries are for everyone and we have limited resources to replace any lost items,’ said Badroodien.

The most overdue items and the number outstanding across City libraries are:

Little Red Riding Hood28
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down27
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway22
Maths Lit Grade 12 study guide21
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown21
Alice in Wonderland20
Jack and the Beanstalk20


South Africa commemorates National Book Week annually during the first week of September, which coincides with International Literacy Day on 8 September.

“Every initiative which encourages reading and its value as a fun and pleasurable activity is important. We often extol the benefits of reading and it can easily become a part of your daily life. Read as much as you can, read to your children and encourage them to read widely. Start by visiting your library today,” said Badroodien.