Li­brary finds it’s all so quiet

Vis­its drop as school re­lo­cated

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - TAMARA McDON­ALD

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.

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