The new Campaspe Regional Library has recorded about 34,000 visitors in September-October, exceeding expectations.By Ivy Wise
The new Campaspe Regional Library has exceeded expectations, with a 20 per cent increase in loans and visitation almost tripling since it opened six weeks ago.
Library services manager Jenny Mustey said 34,000 visitors were recorded in September-October, compared to 12,000 the same time last year.
Membership across the board has also risen significantly, with 448 new members joining in September, compared to an average of 100 a month.
‘‘We are ecstatic. It has been sensational. It’s fantastic the way people have embraced it,’’ Ms Mustey said.
‘‘The increase in memberships will have a flow-on effect to visitation.’’
Programs have proven popular, with 1850 people attending presentations, rhyme and story-time sessions, holiday and Children’s Week activities and the seniors’ festival since the $5.1 million library opened on August 24.
‘‘Computer classes, which were part of the seniors’ festival, were booked out and September holiday activities were popular, with our figures showing we had up to 70 people a session,’’ Ms Mustey said.
‘‘We’ve also had 200 bookings for the meeting rooms.’’
Many people also used the library’s internet service during September, with 1000 people using the PCs to surf the net and 200 using Wi-Fi.
‘‘There has been a definite increase in Wi-Fi usage,’’ Ms Mustey said.
‘‘We’re also seeing an increase in senior students and uni students coming in; sitting, reading and studying here, which is what we wanted.
‘‘Many tourists also come in. I think locals are becoming proud of their library and are telling others to come here.’’
Looking ahead, Ms Mustey said she hoped to run more classes focusing on computers and technology and hold weekly Sunday book chats.
‘‘We have a gorgeous piano in the library and we’re looking for people who can play and entertain us on Sundays,’’ she said.
‘‘We are encouraging music students and teachers to come and practise at the library.’’
Ms Mustey reminded people the library was a regional library, with all administration based in Echuca to support all the branches in the shire.
‘‘This enables us to have a better working environment,’’ she said.
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