Posts Tagged ‘Public Libraries’

So let’s be honest!!

Have you ever had a squirmy feeling when you’ve seen a student in your library sneeze or cough while holding a book?  What about when you’ve noted that a particular student appears to be super unwell ….. almost probably running a temperature …. while browsing through books in the library?

Have you ever wondered, as the sneeze hits the book or the coughed on hands flip through the pages of the book, whether it’s possible for other students, or heaven forbid, for you yourself to ‘catch’ the germs deposited on the book if you should be the next one to touch the book?

No reason to laugh here, because this was exactly the thinking during the ‘Great Book Scare’ when it was thought that an infection could be caught just by borrowing a book from the library!

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fear sprouted in both the US and England that contaminated books, particularly those lent out from public libraries, could spread deadly diseases.  At a time when epidemics of tuberculosis, smallpox and scarlet fever were rampant, this frantic panic instilled a fear of public libraries.

Joseph Hayes, writing for the Smithsonian.com, has written a fascinating and comprehensive article outlining the history of the Great Book Scare:  When the public feared that library books could spread deadly diseases (August 23, 2019).

Well worth a read!



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I love discovering new and inspirational voices who aren’t shy to share their passion!

Kirsti, who blogs at A quick succession of busy nothings, tweets as @melbsonmymind and vlogs on her YouTube Channel at Melbourne on my Mind is certainly one of the most passionate voices I’ve heard for a while.  In addition to blogging and tweeting, she also vlogs.

I bumped into this one during a random wander in cyberspace.  She says it all – clearly, emphatically and passionately!

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Public Libraries provide a free and convenient centre for pursuing information, education and entertainment.  They also provide avenues for us to engage socially with each other.   Consider all that they offer:

  1. Public Libraries are community hubs facilitating opportunities to meet others with similar interests in your local community.
  2. Stay in touch with community events being organized by both the Public Library or the Local Council.
  3. Participate in any of the wide range of events and activities organized by your Public Library: clubs, talks, lectures and exhibitions.
  4. Enjoy a range of social events: book talks, book club meetings, lectures, musical events where you  have the chance to mix and mingle with others.
  5. Public Libraries provide a pleasant play and learning environment for young children.
  6. Story reading sessions can be enjoyed by littlies while Mums and Dads get time out or a chance to meet other Mums and Dads.
  7. Teens will find the Public Library a place to ‘hang out’ enjoying a range of activities such as music and gaming sessions.
  8. Job seekers can refer to community information boards or use computer facilities to research online or prepare resumes and job applications.
  9. Members whose mother tongue is not English can read overseas newspapers/magazines or enjoy foreign language collections.
  10. Get involved: Pass on skills in University of the 3rd Age tutorials or volunteer to choose and deliver books to people unable to get out and about.

Join your Public Library today.  It’s free!

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Without a doubt, Public Libraries are a valuable resource to us all!  Just consider all they have to offer:

  1. First and foremost, both membership and access to all resources are free.
  2. Located centrally in each municipality, Public Libraries are usually quite close to home.
  3. Public Libraries provide a community focal point for people of all ages.
  4. Participate in book clubs, book talks, story reading sessions for kids of all ages or read and borrow the latest new book publications at no cost.
  5. Enjoy musical/cultural events, art or craft exhibitions/workshops or enrol in short courses on anything from genealogy to computer skills.
  6. Immerse yourself in foreign language collections or overseas newspapers or use the inter-library loan option to borrow from other Public Libraries.
  7. A rich array of resources are available: books, magazines, videos, CDs, language learning materials, computers, printers and much, much more!
  8. School and university students can enjoy great study spaces, including silent study rooms, Internet access, gaming facilities and more.
  9. With free Internet access, computers, word-processors, printers and photocopiers, members can enjoy office-like resources to purse interests.
  10. Access to Public Libraries, its services, resources and information, can be made from the comfort of home just by logging into the webpage.

Public Libraries aren’t just about books and reading.  They are so much more.   Becoming a member can take just a few minutes – and it’s free!

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New to the neighbourhood?  Not sure where your local Library is located?  A little nervous to step into the unknown?

Use Library Locator on Victoria’s Virtual Library webpage.   Just type in the name of your suburb and wait for your computer to do the searching.  A return to your query will provide a map with the street location of your local Public Library.

If scrolling through a list of Victoria’s many Public Libraries is more to your liking, select the Branches tab on the Library Locator page to see a comprehensive A-Z Of Public Libraries.  Selecting the Public Library of your choice will take you to a comprehensive street map as well as phone, email and web address details.  Scroll down a little and  you will even see the opening hours.

It couldn’t be simpler, could it?!

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The National Year of Reading is about reading anything, anytime, anywhere!

So the next time you are trying to think about what, when or where to get ‘turned on to reading’ don’t forget about the fantastic, free resource readily available to us all – our Public Libraries!

  1. Public Libraries are by far the most heavily used community agencies in Australia: More than half the population are Public Library members, who make over 130 million visits a year to local Public Libraries. Not a member yet?  Stop by your local Public Library tomorrow to join up.  It’s free!
  2. Public Libraries are the only community places that provide open and free access to the Internet, and increasingly Wifi, for everyone.  It’s not unusual to see every terminal in use and many accessing the wifi when you visit your local library.  Be sure to book a terminal in advance to secure your spot.
  3. Public Libraries are about learning.  They play a critical role in the delivery of educational services and lifelong learning for all in Australia, including immigrants and refugees. They provide homework support for students, support for home-schooled students and their parents, research help with legal, health and job-related needs, access to a very large range of informational databases, as well as classes and one-to-one programs to help seniors and others capitalise on new technologies.
  4. Public Libraries typically have substantial IT infrastructure and expertise – in physical plant and hardware, networking and software licences as well as skilled and knowledgeable librarians – to help make immediate use of great improvements, which the National Broadband Network promises to bring to the online experiences of all Australians.
  5. Public Libraries are among the most trusted and safest of community destinations, the most heavily used and valued partnerships of state and local governments, and are the most heavily visited parts of council websites.
  6. Public Libraries – from substantial international and Australian research – represent a tremendous economic value with an outstanding return on investment (ROI) of between $4 and $8 for every dollar invested in them. Public Library membership is a valuable commodity.  Don’t miss out.  Act now by joining, visiting and supporting your local Public Library!
Points above have been adapted, with permission, from Six reasons why public libraries should be the first stop on the NBN’s roll out.

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