Library visits on the rise
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.