Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Spreading the joy of reading

Howard Hanna has been working to foster a love of literature in the Goulburn Valley's outlying towns.

RIAHN SMITH February 9, 2013 7:00am

Mobile library officer Howard Hanna

For almost a decade Howard Hanna has been working to foster a love of literature in the Goulburn Valley’s outlying towns.

The mobile library officer spends three days a fortnight driving a truck stocked full of books across the region to ensure no-one misses out on the joy of reading.

‘‘It’s a very important lifeline for those people who use it,’’ Mr Hanna said.

‘‘These people often use the books as their major form of entertainment.’’

The Goulburn Valley Regional Library Corporation’s mobile library has been visiting rural communities for about 10 years, but it’s revamped service has just celebrated it’s first anniversary.

In January last year a new vehicle hit the road offering computer and internet access for the first time.

It also now reaches a much larger clientele.

GVRLC chief executive officer Charles Gentner said he could not be happier with the new developments.

‘‘The previous one was a cab, chassis and a massive trailer (but) it couldn’t get anywhere, it wasn’t that manoeuvrable (and) it didn’t have IT infrastructure,’’ Mr Gentner said.

‘‘Now it goes to more schools and up in the Strathbogies. We couldn’t get the old truck into some of those places before.’’

Mr Gentner said the aim of the mobile service was to ‘‘create a level playing field in our region’’.

‘‘We’re trying to entice young families and young children into the library at an early age to improve their literacy,’’ he said.

‘‘We cannot afford to have physical infrastructure in all the areas of our community, so the mobile library gives them access to the same sort of facilities.

‘‘You can get anything done here that you could in one of our libraries in town. It’s just a branch library on wheels.’’

It’s the service expansion that means a lot to Howard Hanna, especially the chance to reach more children.

‘‘It’s nice to see young kids coming in and developing over the years,’’ Mr Hanna said.

‘‘The really young kids they come in their formal classes... there’s a real excitement (and) gabbling of conversations. As they get older, they might just come out in twos and threes but they really enjoy their time.

‘‘It’s really beautiful to see them enjoying the experience.’’

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