Book your place at the library

The age-old thought the internet would be the death of the library has turned out to be nothing short of a myth.

Hard copy book collections may be decreasing in size, but the appetite for reading and long-life learning continues to grow.

Latrobe City coordinator of libraries Debbie Skinner has overseen the Valley’s four public libraries for the past five years.

She said e-resources and digital learning programs were “just another format”, which catered for the community experiencing this technological age.

“Libraries are inventive; they recreate themselves regularly,” Ms Skinner said.

“It’s about collections, it’s about e-resources, it’s about the space as we have.

“We cater for everybody, no matter what walk of life you come from.”

Each day the community library opens to homeless people needing a “safe, neutral environment” or young entrepreneurs attempting to start a business.

From young mothers taking their children to story time or older citizens participating in digital literacy programs, books are no longer the library’s sole focus.

About 225,000 people walked through Latrobe City library’s doors in the last financial year, an increase of 8000 people from the 2012 and 2013 financial year. And with Australia celebrating Library and Information Week until this Sunday, Ms Skinner said it was a good opportunity to showcase libraries.

“I don’t think a special week changes what we do or what we deliver,” Ms Skinner said.

“Libraries really promote literacy in all its formats, and that includes singing, poems, reading and it doesn’t matter what device you’re reading on.

“We just want people to read full stop and we have people coming in from the time they’re a little toddler until they’re past retirement.”