History lesson just for councillors

Coolum library coordinator Jenni Hatton. Phot: scw867a/Mike Garry
Coolum library coordinator Jenni Hatton. Phot: scw867a/Mike Garry

When Sunshine Coast councillors stopped for morning tea at the Coolum library during a Coast-wide orientation tour recently, library coordinator Jenni Hatton did not miss her opportunity.

Jenni gave councillors a history lesson, reminding them that Coolum had grown considerably since 1997 but that the library building had not.

“To cover the growing population in this area, especially for small families, we need to increase the library size,” she said.

“It would be lovely to see that. And with councillors here there was no better opportunity than when they were all together.”

The number of library visits are probably as good a gauge as any to give an accurate indication of a town’s and region’s population growth.

Ten years ago, about 100,000 people visited the library in a year.

In the financial year just completed, 153,292 people called in to read, borrow, return, browse the internet, get information or just to find a friendly, social place to spend some time.

As well as books, the library lends DVDs, CDs, audiotapes and magazines.

“The other thing that’s very popular now is using the internet,” Jenni said.

“A few more terminals would be very good. That’s always something that we’re trying to get but we’re coping with what we’ve got.”

Jenni said many people used the library as a council customer service centre while many older people took the opportunity to learn about using computers and accessing the internet.

“They know they can come in here, they can do a little lesson … we’re always very helpful and we can try and help anyone that’s starting,” she said.

“Because to a lot of them, it’s a totally alien type thing to do.

“The staff are friendly and they just feel comfortable when they come into libraries.”

The library also hosts a justice of the peace service on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 9.30am until noon. People interested in using the service should bring in ID and original documentation.

Jenni said Coolum was a “really nice community”.

“That makes our job much easier.

“It’s a very social space.”

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