Two Melbourne libraries will undergo refurbishments thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.
The Box Hill Library will benefit from a grant of $258,000 to help create new reading and study facilities and make the library easier to use including the provision of a new flexible space for library programs.
As the library has one of the highest rates of WiFi usage for public libraries in the state the grant will also provide for increased access to power so more residents can use and charge devices.
Brighton Library will receive a $315,000 grant to remodel its interior to create flexible study spaces, quiet reading areas, an upgraded meeting room and an accessible programs space.
Funding for the two libraries comes from the current round of the Labor Government’s Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.
According to Know Your Council both Councils’ library collections are younger than the state-wide average indicating a special effort has been made to ensure residents’ needs are met.
The $4.5 million program provides grants to develop or redevelop libraries across the state. The funding comes on top of the record Labor Government funding for libraries provided to councils as part of the $41.5 million Public Libraries Funding Program.
Victoria is home to 275 permanent library branches and 30 mobile library services, with more than 2.1 million library members registered in the state.
Victoria’s public library networks received more than 30.1 million visits in 2015-16, while more than 9 million website visits were recorded during this period.
In 2015-16 an average of 316 people out of every thousand attended a cultural, literacy or skill development program at a Victorian public library – up 4 per cent on the previous year.
Works on the Box Hill Library will start in May 2017 with an expected June 2018 finish date. The Brighton Library remodel will start immediately with completion scheduled for the end of the year.
Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins
“These are the first two libraries to receive funding as part of the program and the upgrades will have a big impact on the communities.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region Shaun Leane
“Libraries are the cultural hub of many communities and play an important role in providing all kinds of services.”