Library finds it’s all so quiet
Visits drop as school relocated
BANNOCKBURN library has experienced a significant decrease in visits, which have dropped 18 per cent in one year.
Visits to the Bannockburn library decreased from 71,239 in 2016-17 to 58,551 in 2017-18, the Geelong Regional Libraries annual report revealed.
Visits to the Golden Plains Shire Mobile Library stops increased from 5457 to 6022.
Golden Plains Shire councillor and Geelong Regional Library Corporation board member Nathan Hansford said the relocation of Bannockburn Primary School had affected the number of physical visits recorded by Bannockburn Library.
“Bannockburn Primary School did not have its own library within the school, but the new Bannockburn College does have its own dedicated school library, so it makes sense that this would affect library visits in the short term,” Cr Hansford said.
Bannockburn Primary was relocated to outer Bannockburn and expanded into the prep to Year 12 college.
Catholic school St Mary McKillop Primary school opened at the former Bannockburn Primary site at the start of this year.
“Bannockburn Primary had more than 500 students and every class at the school visited the library each week, whereas the new St Mary McKillop Primary School is just starting out, with only 86 students currently enrolled there with only four classes making semi-regular visits,” Cr Hansford said.
“While we are pleased those students are utilising our fantastic library services, we are in talks at the moment to increase that involvement as the school’s enrolments increase with an expectation of doubling in the next year.”
Cr Hansford said it was important to recognise the importance of the library within a thriving community like Bannockburn.
The library branch recorded an impressive 8.4 visits per capita in the 2017-18 financial year, servicing the Bannockburn and district population of 6987, Geelong Regional Libraries said.
This is higher than Geelong Regional Libraries network average of 6.3 visits per capita, and the state average of 4.9 visits per capita, it said.
Bannockburn Library trialled extended opening hours earlier this year, and is now open six days a week.
“A trial of extended opening hours this year was welcomed by library users, with feedback resulting in the implementation of a revised schedule of opening hours that have enabled opening on Mondays,” the annual report said.
There were 1,908,348 visits to libraries across the Geelong Regional Libraries network in 2017-18, down 2 per cent from 1,956,363 in 2016-17.