The library world continues to barrel along, and there’s so much to tell you.
First up, we’ve launched a great new combined website – the address is www.midcoastlibraries.com.au.
You’ll be able to see all our wide range of events and services on one website.
It’s been a big job, but well worth it.
How cool is that?
Now if you’re looking for something to do on the weekend of May 24-26 then the livestreaming of the Sydney Writer’s Festival at Taree library has to be on your radar.
From 10am Friday through to 7pm Sunday we’re streaming 19 conversations and panel sessions live from the SWF.
Last year we had over 300 people attending and the feedback was extremely positive.
I reckon this year will be even better.
Entry is totally free but bookings are essential.
Visit our website to get your tickets.
Something else that is happening even as you read this is our Great Books Festival.
This involves the library staff taking notable authors and illustrators to schools around the region for a four-day festival celebrating reading, with a 1000 local children getting the chance to be involved.
This year we’re bringing national recognised illustrator Jules Faber and author Chris Collins to the region.
Another huge undertaking and another example of the sort of role we play in the community.
And since the last column we’ve migrated our Bulahdelah library, which was in serious usage decline, to the Rural Transaction Centre.
This went very smoothly thanks to a team of library staff and active support from the RTC crew.
It has all the hallmarks of being a real winner, with opening hours increasing from 6.5 to 22 hours and offering access to a fully staffed service during this time.
All signs are that this has breathed a new lease of life into the library and that patronage has increased significantly.
Huge thanks to all the volunteers over the past 20 years who supported the original service and made is possible for this solution to be implemented.
Now, to Gloucester.
We’re planning to switch over Gloucester from the Newcastle Regional Library network to be part of MidCoast Libraries, with this scheduled for Monday, July 3.
We’re investing a lot of staff time and resources into making this happen and for it to be a positive outcome for the community.
Advantages to Gloucester residents include being able to provide proper staff support to Gloucester, access to the stock of libraries across MidCoast Council, increased collections in areas such as DVDs and talking books and scope for the community to provide us with direct input into what titles we purchase.
I think that’s plenty enough for now.
And I haven’t even mentioned all our regular programs and the whole range of event we held in the last month.
No wonder it’s all systems go.
See you at the library.