Bundaberg Regional Libraries had almost 3000 new members register and more than half a million books borrowed during 2022.
It wasn’t just the books flying off the library shelves as new initiative the Seed Library proved to grow quickly in popularity after going live in mid-September, with more than 1800 loans since its introduction.
The Seed Library gives members the opportunity to plant, grow and harvest their crops with the option to return seeds from that plant, or donate seeds of a different variety, back to the library.
Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the new initiative had sparked interest from community members last year with 220 loans of donated seeds.
“The Seed Library has grown very popular within the community since it started less than four months ago,” Cr Learmonth said.
“This initiative is also a fantastic way to get people outdoors and learning a range of new skills.”
Community members also enjoyed the variety of programs held across Bundaberg Regional Libraries throughout 2022 with 7,888 in attendance.
These public programs included digital literacy sessions, children’s and youth programs including First 5 Forever, school holiday activities and outreach programs, along with author events.
Cr Learmonth said a highlight for the year was when Bundaberg Regional Libraries hosted the 2022 Queensland Public Libraries Association (QPLA) conference, with over 100 delegates visiting the region for the biannual event.
Over three days delegates took part in everything from talks through to a trade exhibition, interactive workshops and a gala dinner.
Bundaberg Regional Libraries also won a silver award in the QPLA Local Government Authority Awards for its Ability Diverse Program, receiving a prize of $750 which will be put towards building the initiative.
Author Talks were another highlight for 2022, with sporting legend Mat Rogers drawing in the biggest crowd ever with more than 100 community members attending Bundaberg Library to hear him speak about his book, A Father’s Son.
During 2022 there was approximately 582,000 books borrowed from Bundaberg Regional Libraries and 2,963 new borrowers registered.
The number one read for the second year in a row belonged to author Lee Child with the novel The Sentinel.
The Sentinel had 336 loans, followed by Better off Dead by the same author which was taken home 310 times, and then Matthew Reilly’s The Six Sacred Stones coming in third with 282 loans.
Cr Learmonth said adventure, thriller and mystery genres kept the community coming back for more as there was only one of the top 20 loans that didn’t fall into this category.
“Author Judy Nunn with the book Showtime! came in at number 16,” Cr Learmonth said.
“It’s actually astonishing to think all but one of the top 20 loans fall into the category of mystery and thriller.”
Top most borrowed books for 2022:
- Child, Lee – The Sentinel
- Child, Lee – Better Off Dead
- Reilly, Matthew – The Six Sacred Stones
- Grisham, John – The Judge’s List
- Baldacci, David – A Gambling Man
- Connelly, Michael – Fair Warning
- Connelly, Michael – The Dark Hours
- Child, Lee – Blue Moon