Libraries here to stay


Libraries here to stay

Still time to read: South Gippsland Shire’s Cr Mimmie Jackson, Jan Martin and West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation CEO John Murrell aren’t worried about technology taking over their love of books.

THE future of libraries is safe according to West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation (WGRLC) CEO John Murrell.
He presented some encouraging findings in the corporation’s annual report in front of South Gippsland Shire Council last Wednesday.
Despite the rise of reliance on internet technologies, the libraries have retained strong interest.
Last year alone, libraries in the West Gippsland area received 520,077 visits, up more than 80,000 from the previous year.
Councillor Jeannette Harding took a fondness to the report, after dealing with technologically advanced protests in the past.
“I remember 12 years ago we fought like hell to get a library in Leongatha, and everyone said we’d just be on the internet. How wrong they were,” she said.
Mr Murrell agreed, but was wary of the impact of new technology.
He alluded to future planning, with the possibility of offering downloadable content borrowed through the library system.
“People would still need to be a library member to make sure they link in with our systems,” he said.
“But I believe it’s still much too early for analysis.”
“We are experiencing an e-book revolution. But there is still plenty of time before it replaces the book,” Mr Murrell said.
The advance in technology has seen many major book stores close down overseas and also in Australia.
But the CEO thinks libraries have become even more important to
“We recently went on our world tour of libraries, and it was amazing to see many of them actually getting bigger,” he said.
“More people are coming into the library, using it for social interactions as well as borrowing books and using internet and computer services.”
The WGRLC will be looking to improve their broadband services to comply with demand at every site.
Already members of the board are meeting with National Broadband Network liaison officers to decide which approach to consider in gaining the greatest connectivity.
The WGRLC is aiming to increase their total membership in all three shires to 40 per cent of the population by 2015.
It currently sits at around 36, with Bass Coast leading the way, with greater than 40 per cent.
South Gippsland currently has 38, while the Baw Baw shire is lagging with around 34 per cent.
Baby boomers remain the greatest users, but Mr Murrell said a big focus on early year learning may be the key to increasing the figure, and keeping young people interested in books.
“Activities such as storytime have seen about 4000 young children attend each week,” he said.
“We’ll be looking to increase that figure within the next few years.”
National year of reading
INVERLOCH is set to host the conclusion of the 2012 National Year of Reading tour in November next year.
The national launch will be in Canberra on Valentine’s Day (February 14), and will conclude with a beach party in Inverloch.
William McInnes will be the patron ambassador of the event, with other representatives including Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle, Andy Griffiths and Alison Lester.

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Posted by on Nov 22 2011. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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