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Dramatic increase in Ballarat library loans

The City of Ballarat in Victoria has found that loans from its four libraries have increased dramatically in the last financial year despite an apparent statewide trend of declining loans, reports the Courier.

Ballarat Library had the highest number of loans in the last financial year with 436,005 loans, compared to 434,407 in the previous year. Loans at Sebastopol Library were up from 75,488 to 76,043, while loans at Wendouree library increased by almost 2500 and at the Outreach Pop-Up Library by almost 2700.

The City of Ballarat also reports that elending in its libraries has more than tripled, increasing from 7263 loans in 2012-13 to 22,138 loans in 2013-14.

Library visits to Ballarat’s libraries also increased in the last financial year by almost 20,000 people, from 334,391 to 354,200 visits. 

Ballarat Council’s manger of learning and diversity Jenny Fink told the Courier that an average of 1000 people visited the city’s four libraries every day. ‘What we have seen in recent years is that our libraries are shifting from being stagnant institutions to vibrant community spaces,’ she said.

In recent years Ballarat’s libraries have introduced self-loaning, live music events and a pop-up service for remote areas. The Ballarat Library has also established a ‘multicultural hub’ staffed by volunteers from Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council. ‘We are one of the first libraries in Australia to have that kind of access point,’ said Fink. ‘We have made it the centre point for migrants and refugees to get the information they need for extra services and education.’

 

Category: Library news