Li­brary vis­its on the rise

Benalla Ensign - - News -

Vis­its to the Sir Ed­ward ‘‘Weary’’ Dun­lop Learn­ing Cen­tre (Be­nalla Li­brary) in­creased by nearly 25 per cent since it was opened last Oc­to­ber.

To­tal vis­its to the li­brary in the De­cem­ber quar­ter of 2014 were nearly 20 000, a 24.22 per cent in­crease on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, with 282 new mem­bers join­ing dur­ing that pe­riod, in con­trast with the same quar­ter in 2013 which saw vis­its decline by 2.53 per cent.

‘‘We knew that peo­ple were look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a new li­brary and it’s great to see the proof in more vis­its, more mem­bers and more loans,’’ Mayor Justin King said.

As well as lend­ing books and other ma­te­ri­als, the li­brary of­fers other pro­grams out­side the tra­di­tional role of a li­brary, such as book launches and au­thor talks, the Sum­mer Read­ing Club, com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties like the Pal­lia­tive Care Christ­mas Tree, and events like Bed­time Sto­ries dur­ing the Be­nalla Fes­ti­val.

The li­brary also of­fers free wi-fi ac­cess, meet­ing rooms which can be booked by the com­mu­nity and or- gan­i­sa­tions and high-care adult change fa­cil­i­ties.

‘‘The li­brary it­self is a very wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple of all ages and abil­i­ties, so it’s not sur­pris­ing that peo­ple want to spend time here,’’ Cr King said.

‘‘The most im­por­tant thing, how­ever, is that we are of­fer­ing mod­ern li­brary fa­cil­i­ties, which will en­able peo­ple to ac­cess ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as a place where lit­er­acy and the love of learn­ing can be en­cour­aged.

‘‘This will be a vi­tal as­set for our com­mu­nity for gen­er­a­tions.’’

The High Coun­try Li­brary Cor­po­ra­tion, the body re­spon­si­ble for op­er­at­ing the Be­nalla Li­brary, is un­der­go­ing a re­view of its op­er­a­tions and ser­vices to en­sure its fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity, and com­mu­nity mem­bers are in­vited to share their views.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.hclc.vic.gov.au or phone CIS con­sul­tant Ian Smith on 0413 683 946. Sub­mis­sions must be re­ceived no later than Mon­day, March 2.

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