Bulahdelah Library thriving at new location

Pat Tate said the library stocks over 3,500 items available for loan.
Pat Tate said the library stocks over 3,500 items available for loan.

 

WHEN Bulahdelah Library relocated to the Rural Transaction Centre (RTC) last year, the advice from MidCoast Council was simply to use it or lose it.

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And according to the latest figures from Council, that’s exactly what the community have done.

Borrowing rates have soared, increasing by almost 40 percent over the last 12 months, and membership continues to grow.

RTC staff, who are ably assisted by a dedicated band of volunteers, say this is a direct result of greater community involvement.

“We have a lot of people come in to use the facility each day, and new members sign up each week,” staff member Pat Tate said.

“This gives us confidence that the library remains an important service for our community.”

The library stocks over 3,500 items for loan, including an extensive range of fiction, non-fiction and large print books, magazines, DVD’s and CD’s.

Pat said stock is rotated regularly between the 11 MidCoast libraries, ensuring there are always plenty of new titles on the shelves.

But just 12 months ago, Bulahdelah had the lowest borrowing rates in the region and was set to close.

In a bid to maintain the service, Council agreed to move the library to the RTC for a 12-month trial, with performance indicators set to determine the success.

The recent review of library usage shows borrowing rates are right on track, with hundreds of residents walking through the doors in 2017 and collectively checking out 5,915 items.

With a large bank of computers available for use, the library also helped countless members connect online.

While these trends are positive, the figures show the number of active members falls slightly short of the target set by Council.

Pat said the library is looking forward to continuing to build membership in the coming months to ensure the service is maintained in 2018 and beyond.

 

Pat Tate said the library is well-utilised by the community.
Pat Tate said the library is well-utilised by the community.

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