LifestyleLibrariesFour decades of Friends of the Library

Four decades of Friends of the Library

Four decades of Friends of the Library
Friends of the Library president and volunteer, Dianne Hansen is excited to celebrate 40 years of book deliveries.

For four decades a group of selfless volunteers, Friends of the Library, have helped to provide local community members with the opportunity to delve into a good book.

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of book deliveries this year, Friends of the Library will celebrate with a morning tea in March at the Bundaberg Library.

Friends of the Library facilitates the Bundaberg Regional Libraries’ book delivery service, allowing community members who are unable to visit the library to borrow books and have them delivered to their homes.

Current and past volunteers and recipients, as well as the public, are welcome to join in the amazing milestone which will highlight the history of the group.

Friends of the Library President Dianne Hansen said she was very excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary.

“That's a long time for any voluntary group to exist and very happily, at that,” Dianne said.

“It's a wonderful and worthy service which now reaches out into regional areas like Bargara for example.”

Friends of the Library began after a small band of people identified that housebound elderly readers were unable to borrow books from the library.

Their first initiative was to fundraise through barbeques and monthly raffles to purchase large print books.

A call out was made for volunteers to help deliver these books and on March 26 1984 the initial delivery took place with Mrs Norah Pearson being the first recipient.

Today the Friends of the Library has 31 volunteers donating their time to deliver to 47 recipients.

Dianne said founding member Daph Gilbert volunteered with the group for over 35 years, until age and health brought her service to a close.

“I can tell of Mavis Lovejoy, Betty Theodore, Mary Muller and Audrey Sparks being in the over 30-year service group,” Dianne said.

“We have three active members who have 20-24 years or more and five active members with 10-20 years.

“I'm sure over the years there are more who've served within that time frame as well and (are) proud of it.”

An annual book sale of hundreds of de-registered library books was another fundraiser organised by the members.

Dianne said this initiative was hard work but also a lot of fun.

“This was a huge money raiser,” Dianne said.

“After this stopped, we held an annual Christmas raffle which proved very popular.

“We still hold raffles when necessary, with terrific prizes to keep raising funds adding wonderful things to our beautiful library.

“I believe between $50,000 to $60,000 has been raised to date.

“Money was donated to the library in the beginning to buy large print books and other necessary items that their budget couldn't cater for.

“Many items have since been bought to enhance the library's catalogue for loans or to be used inside the library.

“This all takes a great deal of planning and time and hard work but very satisfying in the end when we see what we are able to do to help library patrons have more things to enjoy.

“The biggest Friends of the Library achievement would be the continuous delivery of library books over the years to anyone who needed the service.

“Every week books, CDs, DVDs and magazines are delivered by the faithful and dedicated volunteers.

“They also take with them their friendship, offering caring company with their visits, making for much happiness all around.”

40th Anniversary of Friends of the Library deliveries

When: Tuesday 26 March 2024, 10 – 11 am
Where: Bundaberg Library, 49 Woondooma St, Bundaberg
Cost: Free event, no bookings required

Find out more about the services provided by the Friends of the Library group and how to become a volunteer here.

Discover more about the Bundaberg Regional Libraries here.

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