Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Mount Gambier Library: 150 Year Journey of Community Enrichment 1862-2012

Academic journal article Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services

Mount Gambier Library: 150 Year Journey of Community Enrichment 1862-2012

Article excerpt

*** Mount Gambier Library: 150 year journey of community enrichment 1862-2012 by Graham Greenwood. Mt Gambler Public Library 2012 Available from Mt Gambler Public Library PO Box 56 Mt Gambier SA 5290 $39.95

In five different locations for the past 150 years the citizens of Mount Gambier, South Australia's largest regional city, have had access to library services originally through an institute (subscription) library and, since 1967, through a free public library jointly funded by local and state government.

Mount Gambier Library is an attractive 200 page publication, with an index of personal names but no general index. Graham Greenwood, journalist and former editor of the highly respected local newspaper The Border watch tells a lively tale which has elements familiar to public librarians everywhere--finding a location satisfactory to everyone; dealing with supportive and antagonistic local government officials; opening hours; funding for resources and staff. Throughout the book there is no doubt that the residents have valued and supported the service. Evidence of this commitment is seen in the decision by them to raise funds to contribute to the development of the 1967 free library, given that the first free public library in South Australia opened at Elizabeth only 9 years earlier.

Much of the book focuses on the new Mt Gambier library opened in December 2009--and rightly so, since it has been an outstanding success. It is seen by many visitors and others as an outstanding example of a public library service in Australia and New Zealand--to the extent that the editor of Aplis in his editorial in March 2010 was prompted to ask 'Is this the best small city public library in the world'. …

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