Did you know that we have five public libraries in the Upper Hunter Shire?
And every single one of them is worth protecting.
Books are important.
Library – what a word. What promise it holds out, what promise it offers, and how lucky we are to be able to use that word five times in our shire.
We have five public libraries in our shire.
In today’s busy, profit-driven world, a library is our marketplace.
A place we can go where we don’t have to take our wallets, a place we can go where we don’t have to know anything, a place full of books and often other things too like computers, DVDs, and occasional internet.
We are lucky to have five, and I am privileged to be the chair of the Upper Hunter Shire Library Advisory committee for the next four years.
And there is much to keep us occupied.
The Merriwa Library is to be refurbished with work being funded by the Upper Hunter Shire Council and a $70,000 NSW Public Library Infrastructure grant.
There are conceptual plans on display which can be viewed at Merriwa Library, any Council office or on Council’s website.
You are invited to provide written feedback on the draft plans up until Monday, November 28 and I encourage you to do so.
Meanwhile back in Scone, Councillors have put the Library as a top priority in the new Community Strategic Plan that is currently being developed.
For those of us in love with public libraries, we will be looking at a permanent and better space for our library.
Libraries are not negotiable; they are part of our public inheritance and the NSW Library Act 1939 lays out statutory requirement as to services to be provided by local libraries.
Libraries are our essential internal compasses guiding us through this world; they are places to escape to, places to dream from all in a bubble of respect for others.
Libraries enshrine the shared collective, and nurture us with fresh possibilities.
Books are important because we are important.
Our right to knowledge must be protected at all costs; we do not deserve to have our access to knowledge curtailed by bottom line issues and commercial interests.
Public libraries need protecting because we need protecting.
Libraries save communities.
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