Tamworth libraries secure $200,000 in state government funding

BALANCE THE BOOKS: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson with library manger Kay Delahunt. Photo: Peter Hardin 300418PHB030
BALANCE THE BOOKS: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson with library manger Kay Delahunt. Photo: Peter Hardin 300418PHB030

THE region’s libraries are in the government’s good books after landing a $200,000 grant for a technology upgrade.

Central Northern Regional Libraries manager Kay Delahunt said the upgrade would make the process easier for the facilities’ 105,000 yearly visitors.

She said the libraries still receive a “very healthy level of usage” with more than 297,000 books loaned in the 2016/17 financial year.

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While e-books and audio books are trending upwards, the printed-word reins still reins supreme.

“Books are still holding their own,” Ms Delahunt said.

“One of the reasons, I think, is people are looking at screens all day and when they come home they don’t want to keep looking at a screen, so it separates work and pleasure.

“I think people are still quite attached to the physical object, the smell, the feel and the experience of reading.”

The state government funding will help the region’s libraries move to a new database and scanning system which will speed-up stock-takes and the location of misplaced books.

It’ll make the loaning process easier for local library lovers too, she said, doing away with the need to individually scan and desensitise each book.

“Instead of having to open up the book and wand the barcode they can simply take up pile of up to 15 books, place it on the pad and that’s all they have to do, it automatically uploads it and desensitises it,” Ms Delahunt said.

The upgrade’s anticipated to take 18 months with every item in the libraries’ collection needing to be tagged.

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