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Re-invented libraries seeing surge in popularity

Suddenly, or so it would seem, libraries are the “in” place to be.

Young families are making their way into the aisles of information, but not all of them into the pages of books.

Ipswich City Council Libraries has seen a jump in active members over the past 12 months, to more than 50,000, and technology – robots, virtual reality, digital displays and games – is playing a big role in the “reader” revolution.

That’s a 41 per cent increase on the previous year.

Springfield Library turned the ripe old age of 1 last week, and is credited as one of the reasons for a massive spike in membership in this region.

Redbank Plains or Springfield Lakes residents are visiting in droves, accounting for 20 per cent of overall visitors. Goodna, Brassall, Springfield, Bellbird Park, Raceview, Collingwood Park, Augustine Heights and Camira all have the night light on over a good book, each with more than 1000 active borrowers.

More than 60 per cent of library-goers are female.

And about 60 per cent are aged less than 40.

It’s a young crowd, and if what they’re reading is any indication, they like a good suspense novel but not as much as they need some financial guidance from the likes of Scott Pape or life tips from Mark Manson.

What’s old is seemingly new again, and the library crew says it’s no fluke. Rather, it’s entirely by design.

“We passed the 50,000 milestone this month (August), and we’re seeing an increase in membership across the city – not just at our newest library at Springfield,” Library Business Services Manager Matt Pascoe said.

“We’ve made it easier for people to sign up with a beautiful new website, there are more self-service options, and we’ve compiled an award-winning ‘marketplace’ bookshop-styled collection project.

“There are hundreds of great public programs and there’s immense variety in the services libraries now offer. All in all, that’s led to 43 new members every day over the past 12 months.”

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe (second right), Ipswich West MP Jim Madden (left), council’s General Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Charlie Dill (right) and Library Services Manager Sylvia Swalling have visited the $6 million Rosewood Library construction site.

“The Rosewood Library is exactly the type of project the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program is designed to deliver for communities across the State and I’m thrilled the Palaszczuk Government has partnered with the Ipswich City Council to bring it to fruition,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Excavation works were recently completed and footings and ground beams are now in place, while in-ground services for electrical, plumbing and fire are installed and the ground floor slab has been poured,” Mr Dill said.

“Works are on track to complete the building construction by the end of December 2019 at which time fit-out can commence.”

Read more

 >>>>The story of Rosewood Library beginning to unfold

 

Top 10 most-loaned books

  1. The barefoot investor: the only money guide you’ll ever need (Scott Pape)
  2. The subtle art of not giving a f*ck: a counterintuitive approach to living a good life (Mark Manson)
  3. Shelter in place (Nora Roberts)
  4. Nine perfect strangers (Liane Moriarty)
  5. The fallen (David Baldacci)
  6. Past tense (Lee Child)
  7. In a house of lies (Ian Rankin)
  8. A spark of light (Jodi Picoult)
  9. Murder games (James Patterson)
  10. The barefoot investor for families: the only kids’ money guide you’ll ever need (Scott Pape)

One Comment

  1. No wonder Ipswich Library has a surge in numbers. Great variety. Great service. What’s not to like about 20 items per month for a “readaholic” like me. Hopefully, the new Council will regard the Library as a priority item, and continue to consult the readers on how to continue development, and how to expand community engagement through the building which becomes the hub for something wonderful. .

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