Bundaberg's libraries continue to thrive and positively impact residents, as highlighted by recent findings from the Bundaberg Regional Libraries Community Survey 2023.
With more than 380 residents participating in the survey, which was made available during May, Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events Portfolio Spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said it had provided valuable insights into the preferences and needs of library users.
“Our libraries are cherished community spaces, and we are thrilled to see such strong engagement from residents,” Cr Learmonth said.
“The survey results reaffirm the vital role our libraries play in the lives of our residents.”
The survey revealed that 37.6% of respondents visit their local library on a weekly basis, while 34.7% make monthly visits, showcasing the continued appeal and popularity of these facilities.
“This regular patronage is a testament to the exceptional services and resources offered by Bundaberg Regional Libraries,” Cr Learmonth said.
Borrowing physical items emerged as the top priority for library users, with 281 respondents expressing their appreciation for the wide selection of books and materials available.
Additionally, 132 respondents emphasised the convenience and accessibility of borrowing digital items, highlighting the libraries' commitment to keeping up with the evolving needs of the community.
“We are delighted to see that our collections, both physical and digital, continue to meet the diverse interests of our patrons,” Cr Learmonth said.
“Our goal is to provide a comprehensive range of resources that cater to all ages and interests.”
The survey also shed light on the various features and amenities that residents value in their libraries.
Self-service facilities received high praise from respondents, indicating the community's appreciation for the convenience and autonomy provided.
Furthermore, 124 respondents said they actively utilised the library app, emphasising the importance of modern technologies in enhancing the overall library experience.
In addition to borrowing materials, residents said they valued the community programs offered by Bundaberg Regional Libraries.
“We are pleased to see that our community programs, such as author visits and other events, resonate with our visitors,” Cr Learmonth said.
“These programs foster a sense of belonging and promote lifelong learning within our community.”
The survey findings also highlighted the significance of libraries as spaces for studying and reading.
A total of 130 respondents expressed their love for the library as a peaceful environment conducive to concentration and learning.
With four libraries operating across the region in Bundaberg, Childers, Woodgate, and Gin Gin, Bundaberg Regional Council remains steadfast in its mission to create vibrant and accessible spaces where residents can explore, learn, and connect.
“The positive feedback from the survey reinforces our commitment to continually improve and expand our library services,” Cr Learmonth said.
“Bundaberg Regional Council is dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of our community and providing an inclusive and enriching library experience for all.”
To view the survey summary click here.