Gwydir libraries get the nod of approval

September 13, 2015

Gwydir libraries hosted a very important visitor last week, as NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive Alex Byrne toured a number of rural libraries to touch base and learn about operations in place.

Tim Cox, Cr. Angela Doering, and Gail Phillpott, Kay Delahunt and Alex Byrne at the Bingara Library.
Tim Cox, Cr. Angela Doering, Gail Phillpott, Kay Delahunt and Alex Byrne at the Bingara Library.

Mr Byrne was on a short tour of the area, before heading west to visit towns such as Bourke and Brewarrina.

The tour allows the State Librarian to get an idea of the way libraries are interacting with their communities and to stay involved in the 367 public libraries across NSW.

“I like to see all of the libraries and how they work,” Mr Byrne said. “I visit libraries throughout the year and try to cover quite a few towns each time I visit an area.”

Gwydir Library Services Coordinator, Gail Phillpott was on hand to run Mr Byrne through the initiatives and services that the local libraries offer, and detail the ways in which she and Library Assistant Helen Seage are creating stronger connections between the public and the library.

“I know that out in the country people are busy, and the library is often the last stop when they come to town,” Gail said.  “So we are taking the library to the people.”

Gail spoke about the great initiatives run across the Shire, including offering library services to the smaller villages and offering digital reading resources to those that cannot make it to the local library.

“We bring in the iPads and iPods of people living out of town, download books onto them and return them back to the owner,” Gail said. “That way they still get to read at home.”

Mr Byrne was impressed with the Gwydir library facilities and commended Gail and Helen for their work on building a strong community within the library.

Gail Phillpott said the success of the Gwydir Libraries is a team effort, and without the work of Regional Librarian Kay Delahunt, Gwydir Shire Community Development Manager Tim Cox and library assistant Helen Seage, the great environment and initiatives would not be possible.

Mr Byrne visited a few more libraries before heading back to Sydney at the end of the week.