BULAHDELAH library service will be retained, after approval was given at last week’s MidCoast Council meeting to relocate the facility to the Rural Transaction Centre.
“We hope the move will give the library a brighter future,” MidCoast Library Services Manager Chris Jones told News Of The Area.
“We hope the community get behind it, and the usage of it goes through the roof.”
The books were packed and shelves pulled down last week in preparation for the move, marking the end of an era.
According to past librarian Diane Burns, the service began operating from Bulahdelah Central School in 1981.
“There was a need for a community library, as we didn’t have anywhere that books could be borrowed from,” Mrs Burns said.
“A grant application was submitted to Great Lakes Council by Ian Aird, the Headmaster at the time, and library assistant Lyn Bonney, to purchase books for the community.”
Mrs Burns said with Council’s support, a community section in the school library was established, and was open for two hours each Wednesday afternoon.
Nancy Ireland, Stan Backhouse and Loraine Farrell also played a significant role in operating the community library from the school.
Mrs Burns said the service moved to the CWA rooms in Wade Park in 1990, as a larger space was needed to house the expanding collection of books.
Council provided ongoing support for the library, which reached a 25-year milestone.
“Local volunteers have been vital in achieving this, ably overseen by Loraine in her capacity as Library Coordinator, a position she held until retirement last month,” Mr Jones said.
Loraine told News Of The Area, there have been many changes over the years.
“We had no computers when we first opened,” she said.
“We also expanded the loans available to include large print books, magazines, audio books, CDs and DVDs.”
Loraine said usage had declined over the past six years.
“School children are using it less frequently as a point of reference, because they now use their laptops and iPad’s,” she said.
“It’s still an important service, and I hope once moved, the community will continue to use it.”
The library service is expected to recommence on 1 May from the Rural Transaction Centre.
By Daniel SAHYOUN